US gov't agency calls on Myanmar to end abuses against Rohingya Muslims

April 15, 2016 03:20

WASHINGTON - The US government agency charged with monitoring international religious freedoms called on Myanmar's new government on Thursday to do away with abusive policies against the country's minority Rohingya Muslims.

The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) praised the government of de facto head of state Aung San Suu Kyi for releasing political prisoners after its November election victory.

But it said Myanmar, which is also known as Burma, needed to act to protect freedom of religion and end discrimination against minorities.

"One such step is Burma's government radically changing its abusive policies and practices in Rakhine state, which have harmed members of the ethnic communities who live there, especially Rohingya Muslims," it said in statement.

The commission called on the government to do away with laws discriminating against ethnic and religious minorities, including Christians and Rohingya and other Muslims - notably the 1982 Citizenship Law.

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