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HRW: End Myanmar's Muslim child limitations

May 28, 2013 at 3:37 PM

NAYPYITAW, Myanmar, May 28 (UPI) -- Human rights workers called on Myanmar to end a two-child limit on minority Muslim families living in the country.

Human Rights Watch said the practice calls women's physical and mental health into question and is discriminatory against Rohingya Muslims, an Islamic sect that exists in Myanmar and Bangladesh, because majority Buddhists have no such restrictions on child-bearing.

"Implementation of this callous and cruel two-child policy against the Rohingya is another example of the systematic and wide-ranging persecution of this group, who have recently been the target of an ethnic cleansing campaign," said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

"President Thein Sein says he is against discrimination. If so, he should quickly declare an end to these coercive family restrictions and other discriminatory policies against the Rohingya."

The child-bearing policy isn't the first government crackdown against Muslims. The Rohingya were part of attempted ethnic cleansing operations in June and October 2012, Human Rights Watch said. No one has been held to account by the government for the campaigns.

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