Respect for human rights essential in "milestone" Myanmar elections

Listen /

Yanghee Lee. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe.

Upcoming elections in Myanmar should take place in an environment that encourages participation by all sectors in society, an expert on the country's human rights situation has said.

UN Special Rapporteur Yanghee Lee said respect for human rights must be at the heart of the process.

The South Korean law professor this week presented her latest report to the UN General Assembly.

Dianne Penn reports.

Ms Lee described the 8 November elections as "an important milestone" in Myanmar's road to democracy.

The country, formerly known as Burma, had been under military rule for 50 years until 2011.

But the human rights expert is concerned that thousands of citizens might not get a chance to cast their ballots.

They include minority groups, internally displaced people, refugees and those living in conflict areas or in parts of the country that were affected by flooding earlier this year.

The arrest, conviction and harassment of journalists and civil society groups, and excessive use of force against protestors, were also a concern.

"I therefore reiterate that the rights of freedom of expression, assembly and association are essential for the effective exercise of the right to vote. Genuine elections cannot be achieved if these rights are curtailed."

Ms Lee urged the international community to closely monitor the proceedings.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’04″

Filed under Today's News.
UN Radio Daily News Programme
UN Radio Daily News Programme
Updated at 1800 GMT, Monday to Friday
Loading the player ...




December 2017
« Nov