Even as Burma's central government institutes political reforms, the Burmese army continues to routinely violate the human rights of ethnic minorities in Karen State, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR)found, citing findings from a field survey conducted earlier this year. Its report - Bitter Wounds and Lost Dreams: Human Rights Under Assault in Karen State, Burma - provides a snapshot of ongoing abuses against Karen people and communities in the country's mountainous eastern region bordering Thailand, where the army has been battling insurgent groups for decades.
Nearly one-third of the families surveyed reported having experienced human rights violations, including being forcibly evicted from their homes, being forced to work for the army, and being physically attacked - sometimes even tortured or raped. The research showed a much stronger incidence of human rights violations in territory controlled by the Burmese army than in areas where insurgent groups were actively striving for control.
Please join researchers from Physicians for Human Rights, Karen Department of Health and Welfare, and Karen Human Rights Group for a press conference focused on the report on Tuesday, 28 August 2012 at 10:30am at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand.
About the Report:
PHR's research team trained 22 surveyors from five partner organizations to survey 665 households in 88 villages in Karen State in January 2012. The survey, conducted in two local languages, consisted of 93 questions covering human rights abuses, health indicators, food availability, and access to health care between January 2011 and January 2012.
About Physicians for Human Rights:
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is an independent organization that uses the integrity of medicine and science to stop mass atrocities and severe human rights violations against individuals. We are supported by the expertise and passion of health professionals and concerned citizens alike.
Since 1986, PHR has conducted investigations in more than 40 countries around the world, including Afghanistan, Congo, Rwanda, Sudan, the United States, the former Yugoslavia, and Zimbabwe:
1988 First to document Iraq's use of chemical weapons against Kurds
1996 Exhumed mass graves in the Balkans
1996 Produced critical forensic evidence of genocide in Rwanda
1997 Shared the Nobel Peace Prize for the International Campaign to Ban Landmines
2003 Warned of health and human rights catastrophe prior to the invasion of Iraq
2004 Documented and analyzed the genocide in Darfur
2005 Detailed the story of tortured detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay
2010 Presented the first evidence showing that CIA medical personnel engaged in human experimentation on prisoners in violation of the Nuremberg Code and other provisions
2011 Championed the principle of noninterference with medical services in times of armed conflict and civil unrest during the Arab Spring
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