Myanmar faces additional rights scrutiny

July 17, 2013 at 10:48 AM
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BRUSSELS, July 17 (UPI) -- The arrest and judicial harassment of a human rights campaigner in Myanmar serves as a reminder of the country's ongoing problems, a rights organization said.

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders said it was concerned about political freedoms in Myanmar. It said it was frustrated with judicial harassment targeting Wai Phyo, director of human rights group Generation Wave, in Myanmar.

The organization said Phyo and members of his group were arrested for violating a 1962 law prohibiting the distribution of unlawfully printed documents. He's in custody and faces a July 25 court date. Two of his colleagues were sentenced to three months in jail on similar charges.

"The observatory condemns Mr. Wai Phyo's arrest and judicial harassment, which seems to merely aim at sanctioning his peaceful human rights activities," the organization said Tuesday.

Myanmar earned praise for democratic reforms that began with general elections in 2010. Its human rights record, however, has faced continued scrutiny.

British Prime Minister David Cameron met this week with Myanmar President Thein Sein, a former military commander. Cameron said the government can do more to address ongoing conflict pitting Buddhists and members of the minority Muslim community.

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