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ASEAN To Set Up Human Rights Commission

ICC Note: ASEAN, a group comprised of several countries who propagate or tolerate persecution of Christians, is planning to establish a human rights commission. Hopefully this will reduce the amount of persecution in these countries.

By JIM GOMEZ — Associated Press Writer

7/30/07 Philippines (AP) Southeast Asian foreign ministers agreed Monday to set up a regional human rights commission, overcoming fierce resistance from military-ruled Myanmar .

A charter being drafted for the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations will include a provision mandating the creation of the human rights body, officials said…

Asked about Myanmar ‘s resistance and reaction to the agreement, he said: “I think Myanmar takes a positive attitude toward all these developments.”

Myanmar is widely accused of human rights violations and continues to hold Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest.

Details of the agreement were not immediately available. Cambodia , Laos and Vietnam had suggested earlier that they were not ready for the immediate establishment of such a body, and ASEAN members might be allowed to join the commission at a later date.

Myanmar , Cambodia , Laos and Vietnam – ASEAN’s most recent members – all have authoritarian or single-party governments…

Some ASEAN countries fear any scrutiny of their human rights, and the group has traditionally held to a cardinal policy of noninterference in each other’s affairs. Human rights groups complain that this noninterference principle fostered undemocratic governments in the region…

ASEAN consists of Brunei , Cambodia , Indonesia , Laos , Malaysia , Myanmar , the Philippines , Singapore , Thailand and Vietnam .

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