Rights workers under pressure

24 July 2015
Rights workers under pressure
Photo: Hong Sar/Mizzima

A new report says human rights workers in Myanmar face threats to their personal security despite moves toward political reform since military rule gave way to an elected government four years ago according to the Associated Press on 23 July.
The report, “How to Defend the Defenders? A Report on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders in Burma and Appropriate Protection Mechanisms” issued Thursday in Bangkok by the independent groups Burma Partnership and the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, depicts a climate of violence, sexual assault, arrests and cyber-threats against aid workers, in some cases believed to be linked to the government.
Almost half of the women interviewed for the report said they had experienced some form of sexual or physical violence, sexual harassment, or intimidation, and student groups said they suffered harassment both in person and through social media. The report drew on testimony from 75 non-governmental organization workers and data from journalists and student activists from November 2014 to March 2015.
President's office director U Zaw Htay said the government had no immediate comment on the report. In the past, the government has said it respects human rights while managing the country's delicate democratic transition.