Myanmar Detains a Prominent Political Opposition Figure

By Ariel Lin
Impunity Watch Reporter, Asia

YANGON, Myanmar – A prominent political ally of the detained pro-democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has been arrested in Burma.  64-year-old Ohn Kyaing was taken from his home on Wednesday, according to the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD).

NLD spokesman Nyan Win told the Associated Press the reasons for the arrest were still not known, but he pointed that Ohn Kyaing had been very involved in efforts to help the survivors of the cyclone that devastated Burma in May.

Ohn Kyaing joined the NLD after a long career in journalism and won a parliamentary seat in 1990 that was annulled by the military.  The Military Intelligence Service arrested Ohn Kyaing in September 1990.  He was sentenced to 17 years in prison for “writing and distributing seditious pamphlets” and “threatening the security of the state.”  After serving 15 years of a 17-year prison sentence, Ohn Kyaing was released from prison in 2005.

Ohn Kyaing is a close friend and former colleague of Win Tin, another former journalist turned opposition politician, who was the longest-serving political prisoner in Myanmar until his release September 23, 2008.  Win Tin said, Ohn Kyaing’s “is not unusual and something we have to expect. He is a close colleague, a good friend and a highly qualified man.”

Reporters Without Borders and the Burma Media Association call for the immediate release of well-known former journalist Ohn Kyaing.  The two organizations say, “Despite last month’s release of about 9,000 detainees, including a handful of political prisoners, the military regime continues to arrest opposition members.”

Top United Nations human rights officials also called on Myanmar’s military junta to free the estimated 2,000 political prisoners it holds and end the detention of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

For more information, please see
:

AP – Myanmar detains political ally of Aung San Suu Kyi – 02 October 2008

BBC – Burma opposition figure arrested – 02 October 2008

Bloomberg – Myanmar Should Free 2,000 Political Prisoners, Suu Kyi, UN Says – 03 October 2008

CNN – Myanmar detains ally of Aung San Suu Kyi – 02 October 2008

Reporters Without Borders – Journalist and opposition member Ohn Kyaing arrested again – 02 October 2008

Juvenile Offender Faces Execution in Iran

By Yasmine S. Hakimian
Impunity Watch Reporter, Middle East

Mohamad_rezaSHIRAZ, Iran – Mohammad Reza Haddadi, a minor offender, is scheduled to be hanged on October 9. The Criminal Court in Kazeroon sentenced Haddadi to death on January 6, 2004, for the August 2003 alleged kidnapping and murder of taxi driver Mohammad Bagher Rahmat. Haddadi was 15 years old at the time. Haddadi’s co-defendants were all over 18 at the time of the crime and they received lower sentences.

According to his lawyer, Mr. Mostafaei, Haddadi didn’t commit the murder. Mr. Mostafaei states his client merely confessed to the murder because of his poverty and young age. Haddadi retracted his confession in a letter to the court as soon as he learned his mother had not received any money from his co-defendants. The letter explained that his co-defendants tricked him into taking the blame by falsely promising to provide his family with money and other benefits. Haddadi faces execution even though he retracted his confession and his co-defendants eventually withdrew their statements implicating him.

In February, Mr. Mostafaei wrote a letter to the head of the Iranian judiciary requesting that they reconsider Haddadi’s case. Mr. Mostafaei’s request was unsuccessful and Haddadi stands to be to be hanged on October 9. The hanging will take place at the Kaeroun prison in southern Iran.

The United Nations bans the death penalty for offenses committed by minors. Every state in the world has ratified treaties to prevent those under 18 (at the time of the crime) from being sentenced to death. The majority of states have complied fully with this obligation. Iran has ratified two treaties that prohibit juvenile executions: the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Haddadi’s planned execution on October 9 violates Iran’s human rights obligation to not execute juvenile offenders.

Iran has the highest incidence of juvenile executions. In Iran, judges can impose the death penalty in capital cases if the defendant has attained “majority.” Majority, as defined by Iranian law means age 9 for girls and age 15 for boys. Six minor offenders have been executed in Iran this year. According to a report by Human Rights Watch, Iranian authorities are responsible for 26 of the 32 minor executions worldwide since 2005.

Currently, there are more than 150 juvenile offenders sentenced to death in Iran. Clarisa Bencomo, a Middle East children’s rights researcher for Human Rights Watch, explained that states that execute minor offenders acknowledge that such executions are wrong. According to Bencomo, “changes in law and practice need to be faster.”

For more information, please see:

Iran Human Rights – Urgent: The Minor Offender Mohammad Reza Haddadi is Scheduled to be Executed on October 9 in Southern Iran – 5 October 2008

Iran Human Rights – 32 Minor Offenders Executed Since 2005- 26 of the Executions Have Taken Place in Iran – 10 September 2008

Amnesty International – Mohammad Reza Haddadi, Aged 18; Reza Hejazi, Aged 19; Iman Hashemi, Aged 18: Child Offenders – 13 March 2008

Human Rights Watch – Iran: Halt Execution of Juvenile Offender – 22 February 2008

Stop Child Executions – Three More Youth Sentenced to Death in Iran – 12 January 2008

BRIEF: Fijian Acdemic Says Elections Are Not End to Conflict

WELLINGTON, New Zealand – Dr. Alumita Durutalo, a political scientist at the University of the South Pacific, says that returning Fiji to elections will not be the end to the political conflict.  Durutalo says the country has not completely resolved the political conflict since the first coup in 1987.  It was also suggested that instead of constantly pushing for Fiji to return to elections, Australia and New Zealand could help Fiji by helping to establish good political, social, and economic governance.

Durutalo elaborated on her position when she said, “What leaders have focused on is just going back to elections. That is good but we must remember that the nature of conflicts are so complex, some have evolved from the pre-European period, and that is why I say that we must look for solutions first before we carry on.”

For more information, please see:
Islands Business – Roots of Fiji conflict must be addressed for political stability, says academic – 30 September 2008

Fiji’s President Rejects Request to Dismiss Interim Government

By Hayley J. Campbell
Impunity Watch Reporter, Oceania

SUVA, Fiji – Fiji’s President has rejected the National Federation Party’s request to shut down the interim government. Fiji’s prime minister says efforts to rebuild the country will not be weighed down by criticism.

The NFP is calling on President,  Ratu Josefa Iloilo, to promote democratic elections so that Fiji can reestablish a free and legitimate government. Pramod Rae, NFP general secretary, proposes that Fiji’s president create a “caretaker government” “with the sole objective of organizing free and fair elections under the provisions of the 1997 Constitution.”

Mr. Rae believes that, in rejecting the NFP’s request, the President was following advice from the interim Attorney General’s office.

Meanwhile, interim prime minister, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, has announced that the legality of the interim government is not what is important, but rather, the efforts to rebuild the nation.

Individuals and politicians alike have phoned in their concerns in an effort to gather support against the interim government’s politics.

The NFP’s management board meets today in Lautoka to draft a reply to the President.

For more information, please see:
Radio New Zealand International – Fiji’s president rejects calls to oust government – 05 October 2008

Fiji Times – No longer about legality: Interim PM – 05 October 2008

Fiji Live – Cabinet will stay, says Fiji President – 04 October 2008

Violence Against Christians Continues in India

By Shayne R. Burnham
Impunity Watch Reporter, Asia


NEW DELHI, India
– Religious clashes among the Hindus and the Christian minority has caused violence to erupt in two Christian villages in the state of Orissa.  Two homes and one church were set on fire, resulting in the killing of one person.  Christians have responded with some violence.

What has sparked the violence was the murder of Hindu holy man Swami Laxamananda Saraswati and four of his followers on August 23rd.  Holding Christians responsible, Hindu attacks on Christian villages, churches and people followed.  Since the murder in August, 32 people have died and thousands of Christians fled their homes.  The number of Christians living in relief camps has increased from 12,000 to 20,000.

Christians make up 2.3 percent of India’s population.  Tension began to mount as early as the 1990’s when Hindus blamed missionaries of converting Hindus to Christianity.  In response to the violence, Premier Manmohan Singh’s stated that the attacks in Orissa were a “national shame” and that his government had taken a “firm stand” to halt it.  Authorities have imposed a curfew in at least nine towns and over 3,700 federal police have been deployed in Orissa, yet the violence continues.  It is believed that the government is turning a blind eye to the attacks.

Amnesty International urged that “India should match its words with its actions and ensure that members of the Christian minority community in Orissa are protected against renewed communal violence.”  They also state that New Delhi should “conduct a prompt and impartial investigation into the attacks… publish the results and bring those responsible to justice.”

Pope Benedict has also condemned the attacks and urged the European Union to treat persecution of Christians as a humanitarian emergency.

For more information, please see:

AFP – Amnesty Urges India to Protect Minority Christians – 2 October 2008

The Economist – Hindu-Christian Tensions in India – 25 September 2008

Reuters – India Authorities Impose Curfew, Christians Attacked – 1 October 2008

Child Labor in Pakistan

By Shayne R. Burnham
Impunity Watch Reporter, Asia

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – With the coming of Eid al-Fitr, there is a boost in the glass bangles industry, and an increase in the child labor it takes to meet the high demand.  One child worker states, “Usually we work eight or nine hours a day. At busy times like this we work for up to 16.”  He earns approximately $13 per month.  Another child said, “Our parents are very poor. We have to work, though I would like to go to school.  If the workshop owner is happy with our work he may give us some extra money and then our parents will be happy.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) conducted a study of the glass bangles industry and found that, on average, children worked nearly 12 hours per day.  Children sit hunched over hot furnaces and are subject to toxic chemicals, putting their health at risk.

Non-governmental organizations such as the Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC), based in Islamabad, estimate approximately 8 to 10 million children are exploited for work.  According to the Federal Bureau of Statistics, 3.3 million are engaged in the glass bangle industry.

SPARC’s national manager for promotions stated that it is not poverty that leads to exploitation, “The notion that poverty is a cause is inaccurate. In fact child labor itself leads to poverty and creates a vicious circle… The high drop-out rate from schools, with 50 percent leaving education within the first five years of primary education, also contributes to child labor.”  Moreover, the lack of awareness attributes to Pakistani child labor since consumers do not know how the bangles are made.

A study conducted by Save the Children said that, “eradication of this labour is not a viable option unless new avenues and opportunities are created.”  They also point out that one impediment is that there are few work alternatives and few pay as much.

For more information, please see:

BBC – Pakistan Labour Effort Praised – 4 May 2006

Irin – Pakistan:  The Darker Side of Glittering Bangles – 3 October 2008

IPS – Rights-Pakistan:  Glass Bangle Industry Rides on Child Labour – 20 June 2003

Developments on the Khmer Rouge Trial

By Pei Hu
Impunity Watch Reporter, Asia

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia – The Khmer Rouge trial has been delayed until next year. The delay results from new charges being brought against Kaing Guek Eav, also known as Duch, one of the defendants on trial. “The chance to have a trial for Duch could be in 2009, early next year,” said a tribunal spokesman.

The United States has also pledged $1.8 million dollars to help the efforts of the tribunal.  This is the first donation from the United States because of worries of corruption since the establishment of the tribunal.

The Extraordinary Chambers in Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) was established by both the United Nations and the Cambodian government in 2001 to investigate and try surviving Khmer Rouge officials. ECCC uses both Cambodian and International law.

In May 2008, the ECCC banned communication amongst defendants during pre-trial. The Pre-Trial Chamber approved the “strict separation between the detainees,” taking away “the right to communicate among themselves.” However, this past Thursday the ECCC overturned the segregation order. The Pre-Trial Chamber found “that there can be no reason related to investigation purposes justifying that contacts between [defendants] be restricted.”

The Khmer Rouge tribunal has been an international effort to bring to justice the 1.7 million people that perished under the brutal Khmer Rouge regime from 1975-1979.

Currently, five key Khmer Rouge officers are on trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Pol Pot, the dictator of the Khmer Rouge regime died in 1998 without ever being brought to justice.

For more information, please see:

Boston Globe – Cambodia’s Genocide Trial Delayed Until Next Year – 2 October 2008

Jurist – ECCC Ends Ban On Communication Among Defendants in Pretrial Detention – 2 October 2008

New York Times – Cambodia: U.S. Pledges Funds to Khmer Rouge Tribunal– 17 September 2008

Tagicakibau Suggests UN Training is Being Used to Perpetuate Coup Culture

By Ryan L. Maness
Senior Desk Officer, Oceania

SUVA, Fiji – As a United Nations delegation toured Fiji this week, interim Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama called upon the delegation to allow a greater role in the UN’s international peacekeeping efforts for Fiji’s peacekeeping soldiers.  Bainimarama said that Fiji’s forces had a “proud track record” for their involvement with UN peacekeeping.

However, Pacific Concerns Resource Centre has cautioned the UN to not grant Bainimarama’s request.  Organization spokesperson Ema Tagicakibau, said that the training  and confidence that Fiji’s forces have received from the UN have been employed in Fiji to allow the military to stage coups.  Referring to repeated allegations of police and military misconduct, the spokeswoman said, “”After all, a military force that terrorises and violates the rights of its own people and intervenes in political and democratic governance, has no business cleaning up the affairs of other nations.”

“The credibility of the UN will be at stake if it turns a blind eye to the fact that these professional peacekeepers are the very ones breaking the peace at home,”   Tagicakibau said.

For more information, please see:

FijiVillage – Reconsider Peacekeeping Role- PCRC – 01 October 2008

Fiji Times – UN told of coup cycle, peacekeeping link – 01 October 2008

Tagicakibau Suggests UN Training is Being Used to Perpetuate Coup Culture

By Ryan L. Maness
Senior Desk Officer, Oceania

SUVA, Fiji – As a United Nations delegation toured Fiji this week, interim Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama called upon the delegation to allow a greater role in the UN’s international peacekeeping efforts for Fiji’s peacekeeping soldiers.  Bainimarama said that Fiji’s forces had a “proud track record” for their involvement with UN peacekeeping.

However, Pacific Concerns Resource Centre has cautioned the UN to not grant Bainimarama’s request.  Organization spokesperson Ema Tagicakibau, said that the training  and confidence that Fiji’s forces have received from the UN have been employed in Fiji to allow the military to stage coups.  Referring to repeated allegations of police and military misconduct, the spokeswoman said, “”After all, a military force that terrorises and violates the rights of its own people and intervenes in political and democratic governance, has no business cleaning up the affairs of other nations.”

“The credibility of the UN will be at stake if it turns a blind eye to the fact that these professional peacekeepers are the very ones breaking the peace at home,”   Tagicakibau said.

For more information, please see:

FijiVillage – Reconsider Peacekeeping Role- PCRC – 01 October 2008

Fiji Times – UN told of coup cycle, peacekeeping link – 01 October 2008

EU: Concern for Religious Minorities

By Yasmine S. Hakimian
Impunity Watch Reporter, Middle East

BRUSSELS, Belgium – On September 26, the European Union declared its concern for religious minorities in Iran. The declaration released by the Presidency of the EU urges the Iranian government to reconsider its plan to debate a draft bill on apostasy. Apostasy occurs when one abandons their religious faith.

There has been a decrease in the freedom of religion and specifically the freedom to worship. Since April 2008, the circumstances of religious minorities have worsened and many Iranian converts to Christianity and Bahai have been arrested. Mahmoud Mohammad Matin-Azad, (53 years old) and Arash Ahmad-Ali Basirat (40 years old), two Christian converts have been detained for apostasy since May 15.

Many reports indicate that those belonging to the Christian, Baha’i, Sufi and Sunni minorities in Iran are continuously living in persecution. The minorities have dealt with confiscation of property, profanation of their prayer spaces, imprisonment and numerous acts of violence, some of which life threatening.

The Iranian parliament may soon draft a law making apostasy a crime punishable by death. If passed, the law will infringe the freedom of religion. As a result, Iranian’s will be stripped of their right to change religion or have no religion. Such a law violates Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Iran freely ratified.

There will be drastic consequences for thousands of religious minorities living in Iran if the Iranian parliament passes the law. The law would put converts’ lives in grave danger. The law would further threaten the lives of those Iranians who have been arrested for their religious beliefs and held without trial for months.

The apostasy bill, named the Islamic Penal Code, was approved at a first stage vote by the Iranian parliament on September 9. A total of 196 votes were for, seven against, and two abstentions for the bill. The bill will be sent back to the Legislative Commission for amendments and brought before the Iranian parliament for a further vote.

The European Union is asking Iran to forego the law and release the imprisoned converts. The EU urges Iran to put an end to violence and discrimination against religious minorities and allow them to fully exercise their freedom of religion or belief.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide, a Christian human rights group, is strongly supporting the EU in its declaration to Iran. Tina Lambert, CSW’s advocacy director, stated “the international community must continue to urge the Iranian government to release all those detained on the basis of their religious affiliation and respect their obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”

For more information, please see:

Christian Today – Christian Group Welcomes EU’s Strong Stance on Iran Apostasy Bill – 2 October 2008

Assyrian International News Agency – EU Urges Iran to Drop Draft Apostasy Bill and Release Christian Converts – 1 October 2008

Iran Human Rights – EU Presidency is Very Concerned about the Situation of Religious Minorities in Iran – 30 September 2008

Associated Press – EU Worried About Freedom of Religion in Iran – 26 September 2008

Reporters Shot in Bangkok Due to Work on Local Corruption

By Pei Hu
Impunity Watch Reporter, Asia

BANGKOK, Thailand – Jaruek Rangcharoen, a journalist who reported on government corruption was shot last week. Rangcharoen was a regional reporter for the Bangkok-based newspaper, Matichon. Police reported that Rangcharoen was shot several times in the head when he was on his way home from a local market. The Thai Journalists Association (TJA) believes the murder of Rangcharoen was an attempt at silencing the media.

Rangcharoen was reporting on the corruption of local government officials in the central province of Suphanburi. Previously, the governor of Suphanburi has said that Rangcharoen’s articles have brought him in direct opposition with local politicians and businessmen.

Media safety has been a problem in Thailand. In 2005, Santi Lammaninin, a Thai journalist was shot dead near a beach resort. Police said that Lammaninin’s murder was possibly linked to his journalist work.

In August, another Matichon reporter, Athiwat Chainurat, was shot dead in his home. Like Rangcharoen, Chainurat was reporting on local corruption of high-ranking officials. Police suspected Chainurat’s murder was related to news reports written by the victim, which caused conflicts with a high-ranking government officer in the district. The perpetrator for Chainurat’s case has not been found yet.

Due to the danger to journalists in Bangkok, the Press Freedom Association has said, “The current political crisis should not be used as an excuse for allowing impunity to take hold in cases of crimes of violence against the press. Otherwise Thailand could end up in the same tragic situation as the Philippines, where many journalists are murdered each year.”

In addition, Reporters without Borders commented that they “urge the police chief and other competent authorities to move quickly to ensure that both the perpetrators and the masterminds are brought to justice.”

For more information, please see:

APF – Thailand: Journalist Shot Dead Near Beach Resort – 2 November 2005

Bangkok Post – Matichon Reporter Shot Dead at Home – 3 August 2008

Reporters without Borders – Another Provincial Correspondent of Bangkok Daily Gunned Down – 30 September 2008

Child Bride’s Divorce Sparks Discussion of Women’s, Children’s Rights

By Nykoel Dinardo
Impunity Watch Reporter, Middle East

Photo: Nujood Ali and her attorney Shada Nasser, Courtesy of CNN InternationalImage_nasser_and_ali

SANA’A, Yemen – On September 16, ten-year old Nujood Ali returned to school as a second-grader. Although her actions may not sound unusual, Nujood Ali has become a role model and example for women’s rights activists in the Middle East and her return to school is seen as a major step towards gender equality.  Ali has become the focus of international attention because she filed for divorce in April against her 30 year-old husband, Faez Ali Thamer, and won.

In Yemen, Ali was the first child bride granted a permanent divorce by the court.  Her father arranged her marriage in February.  When asked why he married his daughter at the age of ten, he explained that two of her sisters had been kidnapped and forcibly married.  He believed that, by arranging her marriage, he was protecting her from a similar fate.

Less than a month after Nujood Ali was granted a divorce, nine-year old Arwa Abdu Muhammad appeared a hospital in Sana’a.  She complained that her husband had been beating and sexually assaulting her for eight months.  These two cases have generated a lot of media coverage and brought attention to the risks of child marriage.

Some consider child marriage to be a part of Islamic culture and conservatives often cite the fact that the Prophet Muhammad married his favorite wife when she was nine to support it.  Nonetheless, it has been a hot topic among human rights groups.  The United Nations Population Fund has a section dedicated to Child Marriage as a Form of Gender-Based Violence.  It explains that those married at a young age face high risk of health problems commonly associated with early sexual activity and childbirth.

In Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Human Rights Commission has been pushing for new laws to increase the minimum age for marriage to 17 years.  However, in Yemen, despite laws setting the minimum marriage age to 15 – girls are often married younger.  In an interview with CNN, Ali said that she hopes that her actions make “people listen and think to not marry girls so young.”

Shada Nasser, a women’s rights advocate in Yemen and Ali’s lawyer, said that since the press coverage of Ali’s divorce she’s been contacted by several child brides.  Nasser said that she plans on doing everything she can to help them.

For more information, please see:

Baltimore Sun – Yemen Divorcee Reclaims Childhood –  28 September 2008

CNN International – Helping Child Brides Break Free – 25 September 2008

Jerusalem Post – Ending Child Marriage in Saudi Arabia – 10 September 2008

New York Times – Tiny Voices Defy Child Marriage in Yemen – 29 June 2008

United Nation’s Population Fund – Forms of Gender-Based Violence and Their Consequences

New Zealand PM Calls on Fiji to Establish a Legitimate Government

By Hayley J. Campbell
Impunity Watch Reporter, Oceania

WELLINGTON, New Zealand – New Zealand’s prime minister has announced that Fiji must establish a legitimate government committed to reform before relations with Fiji can be mended.

“The return of a legitimate government committed to advancing a process of reform and national reconciliation would allow us to start down the road of normalization and reconciliation,” said New Zealand Prime Minister, Helen Clark.

Clark believes Fiji’s path to progress should start with the Pacific Islands Forum proposals held in Niue in August. Specifically, Clark suggests that Fiji’s interim government should strive to avoid isolation from the other Pacific communities.

While Clark admits that establishing a successful dialogue between stakeholders in Fiji would be difficult, she also is hopeful that “given goodwill and commitment on all sides, an inclusive and independent political dialogue process could generate outcomes acceptable to all.”

Despite many difficulties facing Fiji’s return to democratic rule, Clark has observed “widespread willingness” among leaders to find solutions, implement reform, and, most of all ,arrive at a reconciliation.

For more information, please see:
Fiji Village – Clark Calls On Fiji To Engage – 01 October 2008

Fiji Daily Post – Fiji -NZ relations depend on legitimate govt: Clark – 01 October 2008

Religious Freedom in China, North Korea and Myanmar

By Ariel Lin
Impunity Watch Reporter, Asia

The annual U.S. State Department report on religious freedom heavily criticizes Asian governments’ religion record.  The report says that China’s repression of religious groups intensified during the last year, citing Beijing’s crackdown on Tibetan Buddhists, and its harassment of Christians and members of the Falun Gong as evidence.  The Chinese government undertook a “patriotic education campaign,” which required monks and nuns to sign statements personally denouncing the Dalai Lama. The State Department also found that over the past year, Chinese officials detained and interrogated several foreigners about their religious activities. Officials alleged that the foreigners had engaged in “illegal religious activities,” forcing the cancellation of their visas.

In North Korea, the report said, “genuine religious freedom does not exist.”  According to the report, North Korea government deals harshly with those who engage in religious practices considered unacceptable by the regime. Religious and human rights groups outside the country report that members of underground churches are beaten, arrested, tortured, or killed because of their religious beliefs.  They estimate that 150,000 to 200,000 people are held in political prison camps in remote areas of North Korea, some for religious reasons.  Refugees and defectors who have been in prison said that prisoners held because of their religious beliefs generally are treated worse than other inmates.

The report also condemned Myanmar’s military Junta for restricting spiritual activities and abusing its citizens’ rights.  In Myanmar, “the government continued to infiltrate and monitor activities of virtually all organizations, including religious ones. Christians faced restrictions and Muslims suffered violence and close monitoring,” the report said.  Recently, an independent US group is carrying out unprecedented studies to determine whether Myanmar’s military rulers, accused of rampant human rights abuses, have committed international crimes.

For more information, please see:

AFP – US group studies potential war crimes by Myanmar military – 1 October 2008

BBC – ‘China repression grows’, says US – 19 September 2008

CNN – U.S.: Chinese targeted religious groups before Olympics – 19 September 2008

International Herald Tribune – US criticizes Asian governments’ religion record – 20 September 2008

U.S. Department of State – 2008 Report on International Religious Freedom – 19 September 2008

Voice of America – North Korea Religious Persecution – 30 September 2008

Voice of America – US Religious Freedom Report Faults North Korea, Eritrea, Iran – 19 September 2008