UNITED NATIONS – A UN commission issued a resolution Thursday expressing “grave concern” over widespread rights abuses in Myanmar and detention of political prisoners including opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
The non-binding resolution was adopted in a 92-26 vote, including 65 abstentions, by the General Assembly human rights committee. A similar resolution was adopted last year by 89-29, with 63 abstentions.
The resolution now goes before the plenary session of the 192-member world body for adoption.
The document “strongly condemns the ongoing systematic violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms of the people of Myanmar,” it said.
It also expressed “grave concern at the recent trial, conviction and sentencing of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, resulting in her return to house arrest, and calls for her immediate and unconditional release.”
The resolution comes three months after the UN Security Council agreed on a watered-down statement of concern at the extended detention of Aung San Suu Kyi, kept under house arrest for most of the past two decades, after a tougher draft met opposition from China, Libya, Russia and Vietnam.
It also follows US President Barack Obama’s face-to-face meeting with Myanmar Prime Minister Thein Sein on Sunday at a regional summit where he called on the ruling generals to release the pro-democracy icon.
The resolution urges the government “to release all prisoners of conscience, currently estimated at over 2,000, without delay, without condition.”
The commission also slammed the junta for a collection of human rights violations, including “the continuing practice of arbitrary detentions, enforced disappearances, rape and other forms of sexual violence, torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.”
General elections are scheduled for next year in Myanmar, ruled by the military since 1962 when the country was known as Burma.
The military junta has yet to enact two laws needed to organize the poll, and the UN resolution said it “strongly urges the government to ensure the necessary steps to be taken towards a free, fair, transparent and inclusive electoral process.” –Agence France-Presse
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