Human Rights Watch

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Thailand: All Burmese refugees are to be required to register

into new official camps which will be on the Burmese border. If refugees

fail to register then they will be arrested and deported back to Burma,

this even includes those officially recognized as refugees. Failure to

register will also mean the refugee will no longer receive protection or

assistance from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

in Thailand, and they will be barred from resettlement abroad. The UNHCR

has protested these plans which will affect 3,000 refugees. It is believed

it is a plan to destroy the Burmese pro-democracy movement.

Once in the camps the refugees will have no access to phones or the

internet, thus they will not be able to communicate if they are concerned

at activities in Burma or in the camps themselves. The UNHCR was only told

on the 9th March about the 31st March deadline,

meaning the refugees are being given very little time to react.

Many Burmese fled Burma after the 1990 crackdown by the Burmese

military on activists, which included the National League for Democracy

(NLD) which had just won the election. Things have been changing though.

Thailand now exports 10,000 migrants a month back to Burma, many of whom

then suffer ill-treatment at the hands of Burmese officials. These are

called 'informal deportations'. There are also around 400 illegal migrants

deported each month directly back to military holding centres.

In May 2004 there was a peaceful protest held outside the Burmese

embassy to commemorate the fourteenth anniversary of the 1990 Burmese

election won by the NLD. 34 people were arrested including a 3 year-old

child. They were going to be deported to Burma but the Thai government

backed down after international pressure. It is hoped that the same

international pressure will help now.

Ivory Coast: The government of the Ivory Coast has been

recruiting hundreds of demobilized soldiers from Liberia, including

children under 18. This is in spite of holding peace talks with the

northern-based rebels on Sunday 3rd April. The African

Union-led peace initiative will be lead by the South African President

Thabo Mbeki, Pretoria.

The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court announced on

20th January that he would be sending a team to investigate war

crimes including the use of children under 15, which is a war crime.

Combatants who had fought there were enticed with offers of payment, more

if they brought others, or of being allowed to pay themselves through


Other news in brief: The President of the Palestinian Authority

has announced the resumption of execution of prisoners on death row.

In Uganda information has been removed about HIV/AIDS from

primary school material. Secondary school materials state that latex

condoms have microscopic pores in them which let through HIV. They also

say that pre-marital sex is a form of deviance. Government sponsored

rallies spread similar information. One head teacher has said that

abstinence doesn't work as girls are selling themselves just to buy


The UN Security Council have passed a resolution to refer Darfur

to the International Criminal Court. Exemptions to please the US mean that

non-Sudanese from countries not party to the ICC cannot be prosecuted


A peaceful post-election prayer meeting in Zimbabwe was broken

up with violence and the arrest of 250 women.

In Rio de Janeiro a 'Death Squad' killed at least 30 people.

Previous killings like this were carried out by corrupt police


A military court in Greece has allowed a conscientious objector

to apply for alternative civilian service instead, for religious


Tibet To keep up-to-date with the human rights issues in Tibet

please refer to Tibet News by John–the-gardener.

Add Further News Here

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07.04.05 Front Page

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