Rights groups raise alarm about crackdown on free speech and and widespread voter disenfranchisement
As people across Burma (also referred to as Myanmar) vote on Sunday in a what is being touted as the country’s first free election in 25 years, watchdogs warn that the country’s military dictatorship has clamped down on free speech, purged numerous Muslims from the polls, and undermined its own claims to a truly democratic process.
Earlier this year, hundreds of thousands of Rohingya people, a persecuted Muslim minority, were wiped from the voting lists, including many who cast ballots in the 2010 and 2012 elections. What’s more, numerous Muslim and Rohingya candidates were “disqualified on discriminatory grounds, while authorities have failed to address advocacy of hatred and incitement to discrimination and violence against Muslims,” Amnesty International warned earlier this week. Continue reading