A U.S. Congressional subcommittee heard testimony Thursday on human rights abuses around the world.
Representative Christopher Smith, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Human Rights and International Operations, opened the session by accusing countries including Burma of police abuse, torture, rape, forcible relocation of populations and conscription of child soldiers.
Barry Lowenkron, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, testified that the basic rights of the Burmese people can be realized only by the country's return to democracy.
He said the ruling junta refuses to recognize the results of the free and fair legislative elections in 1990.
Lowenkron said the regime's cruel and destructive misrule has inflicted tremendous suffering on the Burmese people and caused or exacerbated a host of problems for its neighbors, from refugee outflows to the spread of infectious diseases and the trafficking of drugs and people.