Human Rights
Violations

ARTICLE 13 — FREEDOM TO MOVE

“1. Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each State.

“2. Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.”

In Myanmar, thousands of citizens were detained, including 700 prisoners of conscience, most notably Nobel Laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. In retaliation for her political activities, she has been imprisoned or under house arrest for twelve of the last eighteen years, and has refused government offers of release that would require her to leave the country.

In Algeria, refugees and asylum-seekers were frequent victims of detention, expulsion or ill treatment. Twenty-eight individuals from sub-Saharan African countries with official refugee status from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) were deported to Mali after being falsely tried, without legal counsel or interpreters, on charges of entering Algeria illegally. They were dumped near a desert town where a Malian armed group was active, without food, water or medical aid.

In Kenya, authorities violated international refugee law when they closed the border to thousands of people fleeing armed conflict in Somalia. Asylum-seekers were illegally detained at the Kenyan border without charge or trial and forcibly returned to Somalia.

In northern Uganda, 1.6 million citizens remained in displacement camps. In the Acholi subregion, the area most affected by armed conflict, 63 percent of the 1.1 million people displaced in 2005 were still living in camps in 2007, with only 7,000 returned permanently to their places of origin.

ARTICLE 18 — FREEDOM OF THOUGHT

“Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.”

In Myanmar, the military junta crushed peaceful demonstrations led by monks, raided and closed monasteries, confiscated and destroyed property, shot, beat and detained protesters, and harassed or held hostage the friends and family members of the protesters.

In China, Falun Gong practitioners were singled out for torture and other abuses while in detention. Christians were persecuted for practicing their religion outside state-sanctioned channels.

In Kazakhstan, local authorities in a community near Almaty authorized the destruction of twelve homes, all belonging to Hare Krishna members, falsely charging that the land on which the homes were built had been illegally acquired. Only homes belonging to members of the Hare Krishna community were destroyed.