Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) joins 8 partner organizations in a letter calling on President Obama to ensure that any shift in US policy toward Burma reflects true progress toward human rights improvements in Burma.
The letter responds to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s April 4 announcement that the US would relax an investment ban and other sanctions on Burma following that country’s by-elections that ushered Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to power.
PHR strongly urges the US to use sanctions as its leverage to press for substantive improvements in Burma, including an end to attacks on civilians, a granting of unimpeded access to humanitarian groups, and reforms that shift a military-dominated government into the hands of the people of Burma. PHR also calls on Congress to play its important role in pressing for significant improvements in Burma by reauthorizing sanctions against the country.
The letter urged President Obama to consider several areas on which measurable progress may lead to the gradual easing of US restrictions in Burma. Those key issued include the unconditional release of all political prisoners, the full investigation of human rights violations in Burma’s conflict areas, and judicial reform that will enable the rule of law and accountability for human rights abuses.