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Amnesty International gives mixed grade to Myanmar

May 1, 2013 at 9:43 AM   |   Comments

LONDON, May 1 (UPI) -- The government of Myanmar isn't doing enough to address discrimination targeting its minority Muslim population, Amnesty International said.

Myanmar earned praise from the international community for political reforms that began with general elections in 2010. Human rights groups have been critical that violence pitting Buddhists against the minority Muslim community hasn't been addressed, however.

Myanmar this week appointed a commission to look into religious violence in Rakhine last year. Amnesty International said it was reluctant to endorse the committee because it didn't include any Muslims.

Amnesty International Deputy Director for Asia programs Isabelle Arradon gave a mixed reaction to the commission.

"A truth-finding committee is a positive step, as long as it is part of an independent investigation to determine responsibility for the violence and its findings are released to the public," she said in a statement. "But such a commission should not bar or replace criminal justice, or reparation for crimes under international law."

The European Union lifted some sanctions against Myanmar in recognition of political reforms. Rights groups say it was those sanctions that encouraged reform in the first place.

Religious violence in Myanmar since 2012 left nearly 200 people dead and displaced an estimated 127,000 people.

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