UN Urges Myanmar to Give Rohingya 'Full Citizenship'
The United Nations General Assembly has passed a resolution urging Myanmar to grant citizenship and equal rights to the country's beleaguered Rohingya minority.
In a resolution passed by consensus on Monday, the General Assembly expressed "serious concern" at Myanmar's treatment of the mostly Muslim minority group.
Around 140,000 Rohingya are stuck in filthy, overcrowded camps in Rakhine state, where sectarian unrest has left up to 280 people dead in since June, 2012.
Myanmar, also known as Burma, does not recognize the existence of the Rohingya ethnicity. Many locals and government officials instead say they are illegal migrants from Bangladesh.
The U.N. resolution urged members of the group to be granted "full citizenship" and be allowed to self-identify as Rohingya and not Bengali, as the government insists.
It also called on Myanmar to provide Rohingya with "equal access" to services and to allow the group to return to their communities with the protection of the government.
Putin Foe Convicted of Embezzlement, Sentence Suspended
A Russian court has found political activist Alexei Navalny guilty of defrauding a French cosmetics company at least $500,000.
The court sentenced the 38-year-old lawyer and blogger to a three-and-a-half year suspended prison sentence in the case, far lower than the 10 years sought by prosecutors. Navalny's brother Oleg was also convicted and received the same sentence, but was ordered to jail.
VOA's Daniel Schearf says the decision to send Oleg Navalny to jail is an apparent tactic to stifle Alexei Navalny's activism.
The court was originally supposed to deliver the verdict on January 15, but moved up the date on Monday with no explanation of its decision. A Facebook page created to organize a protest near the Kremlin on that day had attracted tens of thousands of supporters.
Navalny emerged from the courthouse after the verdict was announced to urge his supporters to continue their protests. He said, “this power does not deserve to exist, it should be destroyed. I am calling today on everybody to take to the streets, I'm calling to take to the streets until the power which tortures innocent people is removed."
Navalny has been under house arrest since February for participating in an unauthorized protest.