Burma defended its human rights record at the Universal Periodic Review held by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR), in Geneva on Thursday.
During a three-hour review, a number of UN member countries including Britain, France and the United States called on the Burmese military regime to end repression against ethnic minorities, free the more than 2,000 political prisoners, and stop forced labor, arbitrary arrests, and the torture of dissidents.
But Burma's delegation, led by Dr. Tun Shin, the country's Deputy Attorney General, responded that the Burma enjoys a free press, has committed no human rights violations, and cooperated with the UN Human Rights Special Envoy to Burma, Tomás Ojea Quintana.
“The Universal Periodic Review is an opportunity for the intentional community to place principled press on the government of Myanmar to comply with the universal human rights norms,” said Phil Robertson, Deputy Director of Asia Human Rights Watch, in an interview with Al Jazeera.
“But the Burmese government has been very good at making promises in these kind of forums and then forgetting them as soon as the diplomats get on the plane and head back home,” he said.
This week, Human Rights Watch released a report describing Burma's continued human rights violations. Meanwhile, the Burmese junta prepares to convene the first session of the parliament in the country in more than 22 years—a parliament which will be dominated by pro-military lawmakers of the junta's proxy Union Solidarity and Development Party.
On Thursday, elected representatives of political parties started gathering in Naypyidaw to attend the opening of Parliament on Monday.
sources by : Irrawaddy