The last two years have seen a profound deterioration in the human rights situation throughout the central Shan State in Myanmar. Numbers of Shan civilians have been killed or tortured by the Burmese army during counter-insurgency operations. In early 1998 AI interviewed Shan refugees in Thailand and gathered evidence of killings as well as beatings and rape of Shan civilians in the context of forcible relocations and forced labour. The impact of the situation in the central Shan state is being felt elsewhere in the region as refugees flee to Thailand, making it crucial for the international community to bring pressure to bear to improve the human rights record in the area.
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