Religious freedom

Minority religions

Released documents detail Rakhine State persecution

Broadcaster Al Jazeera on 29 October released a cache of documents detailing the persecution of Muslims in Rakhine State, including an internal UN memo and confidential military training manuals. Keep reading ...

Group of Montagnards heads back to Vietnam

Twenty-four Montagnards are set to return to Vietnam on 8 October, becoming the first group to volunteer for repatriation since the government last month ordered the asylum seekers to leave of their own volition or be forcibly expelled, officials said. Keep reading ...

Laos in the spotlight again over human rights

Human rights violations are again an issue in Laos – and a thorn in the side of a government more concerned with centrally-planned economic policies – following the death 61-year-old Tiang Kwentianthong. Tiang was originally arrested for praying for a sick woman without government approval. Reports ...

Under pressure on all sides, Union Election Commission reinstates 11 Muslim candidates

Eleven Muslim politicians have successfully challenged their controversial disqualification from contesting the November elections following a surprise reversal by the Union Election Commission. Their reinstatement after appeal followed concerted pressure from the United States and eight other governments, which had urged Myanmar to hold “a credible, ...

Laos Christian in jail for praying dies after authorities refuse to give him medication

A man from Laos who was jailed for praying has died after he was refused vital treatment in prison. According to the Human Rights Watcher for Lao Religious Freedom group, Tiang Kwentianthong was imprisoned with four others last year, when he prayed for an elderly woman ...

Arrested for praying, Laotian Christian dies in prison for lack of treatment

Tiang, a married father of six, died in jail waiting before his appeal could be heard. Although he suffered from diabetes, prison officials repeatedly denied him treatment. He and four others had been convicted for praying on behalf of a terminally ill woman, an act ...

With official help, radical Buddhists target Muslim businesses

Myanmar’s Muslim minority make up about 5 percent of the country’s predominantly Buddhist population and Muslims living in the delta rely heavily on the slaughterhouse business and the beef trade. Now Muslim businesses have become the target of anti-Islamic sentiment propagated by radical Buddhists who have found ...

Vietnam ‘ready’ for returning Montagnards

Vietnam is “ready to receive” the more than 200 Montagnards currently seeking asylum in Cambodia who face forced repatriation if they do not return within three months, according to the UN refugee agency. Vivian Tan, a regional spokesperson for UNHCR, said the Vietnamese government had given ...

Lao authorities threaten to jail Christians for practising their religion

Local authorities in two villages in a central Lao province have violated the rights of Christians by threatening to jail those who continue to practice their religion after banning their activities last month, a source inside the country said.   Authorities from the villages of Nhang ...

Refugee in Cambodia asks to return home

One of the first four refugees resettled in Cambodia under a deal with Australia has requested to return to his native Rakhine State – the latest controversy to smack the much-ridiculed refugee arrangement. “He has requested to give up his [refugee] status and return to his ...

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