Myanmar has formed a National Human Rights Commission in response to an appeal by a UN envoy for the new government to investigate alleged abuses, an official said today.
State media reported that the panel would be made up of 15 former ambassadors, government officials and academics.
It comes less than two weeks after the visiting UN special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, Tomas Ojea Quintana, said that “serious human rights issues remain” under the country’s new nominally civilian government.
Quintana called for the release of Myanmar’s more than 2,000 political prisoners and voiced concern about the situation in ethnic conflict zones, including attacks against civilians, extrajudicial killings and sexual assault.
The Myanmar regime has shown signs recently that it is seeking to improve its image by reaching out to critics such as opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who met President Thein Sein for the first time last month.
Suu Kyi was released by the junta in November after seven straight years of house arrest, just days after an election that was marred by allegations of cheating and which was won by the military’s political proxies.
The new civilian administration is dominated by former generals.