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President Obama’s Burma Visit Offers Opportunity to Push for Improvement on Human Rights

For Immediate Release

NEW YORK – During his trip to Burma this week, President Obama should demand progress on a range of human rights issues, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) said today.

“The U.S.-Burma relationship is at a critical juncture, and we'll see whether President Obama will jump on the economic bandwagon and ignore ongoing human rights violations,” said Widney Brown, PHR’s director of programs. “Burma’s progress on human rights is stalled, particularly with respect to the persecution of the Rohingya. This meeting is an opportunity for President Obama to send a clear message to Burmese leaders that this kind of discrimination must end.”

Obama is scheduled to be in Burma Nov. 12-14 for ASEAN 2014, a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. During Obama’s first trip to the country, in November 2012, Burmese President Thein Sein made 11 commitments to deepen democracy and protect human rights, but almost all of them remain unfulfilled.

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is a New York-based advocacy organization that uses science and medicine to prevent mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. Learn more here.

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