News Releases 2013

International experts welcome efforts towards the abolition of death penalty in South East Asia

BANGKOK (23 October 2013) – The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice of the Kingdom of Thailand organized an expert seminar in Bangkok on moving away from the death penalty in South East Asia (22-23 October). Participants included prominent international experts and representatives from Governments, the ASEAN Inter-governmental Commission on Human Rights, Parliaments, National Human Rights Institutions, the legal profession, academia and civil society. Read more...

Technical Note on International law and UN Policy Regulating Amnesties

Following debate around a proposed amnesty bill in Thailand, OHCHR has prepared a Technical Note on amnesties, explaining the relevant international standards relevant to Thailand's situation.

Thai version

Myanmar/Rakhine Commission: "Positive starting point but Government must address impunity" - UN expert

GENEVA (1 May 2013) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar, Tomás Ojea Quintana, today welcomed some forward thinking recommendations from the Rakhine Investigation Commission report. However, he expressed concerns over the lack of recommendations to address impunity and ensure investigations into credible allegations of widespread and systematic human rights violations targeting the Muslim community in Rakhine State.  Read more...

Religious violence in Myanmar, the consequences of Government inaction in tackling prejudice and discrimination – UN expert

GENEVA (28 March 2013) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar, Tomás Ojea Quintana, today expressed serious concerns over the spread of violence between Muslim and Buddhist communities in Myanmar and urged bold steps by the Government to counteract this frightening trend.

“The Government must take immediate action to stop the violence from spreading to other parts of the country and undermining the reform process. This includes stemming campaigns of discrimination and hate speech which are fuelling racist and, in particular, anti-Muslim feeling in the country. And it involves holding to account those responsible for acts of violence and destruction against religious and ethnic minorities,” the Special Rapporteur said.  Read more...

Human Rights in Myanmar: “Address shortcomings before they become entrenched”

GENEVA (11 March 2013) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar, Tomás Ojea Quintana, today said that continuing reforms in Myanmar are resulting in ongoing improvements to the human rights situation, but warned that a large gap still remains between reform at the top and implementation on the ground.

“While the process of reform is continuing in the right direction, there are significant human rights shortcomings that remain unaddressed, such as discrimination against the Rohingya in Rakhine State and the ongoing human rights violations in relation to the conflict in Kachin State,” the expert said during the presentation of his latest report* to the UN Human Rights, stressing that “now is the time to address these shortcomings before they become further entrenched and destabilise the reform process.” Read more...

Statement of the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar

YANGON (16 February 2013) – I have just concluded my five-day mission to Myanmar - my seventh visit to the country since I was appointed Special Rapporteur in March 2008. I would like to express my appreciation to the Government of Myanmar for its invitation, and for the cooperation and flexibility shown during my visit, in particular for my visits to Rakhine State and Kachin State.

In Naypyitaw, I met with the Home Affairs Minister, parliamentarians, the Chief Justice, Attorney General, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Deputy Minister for Border Affairs, and the Minister of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement. Read more...