Thein Sein named in US lawsuit

President U Thein Sein has been accused of human rights abuses in a lawsuit filed against him in the United States by Muslim activists, reports said last week.

The civil lawsuit led in a federal court in New York on October 1 Accused U Thein Sein and other senior officials of planning and instigating “hate crimes and discrimination amounting to genocide,” Reuters reported.

The lawsuit was led by the Burma Task Force, which was described as a group of 19 Muslim organisations, and a Rohingya named as U Htay Lwin Oo, Reuters said.

The lawsuit alleges that Rohingya are “subjected to genocide, torture, arbitrary detention, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment” by officials controlled by U Thein Sein and his ministers.

It seeks compensatory and punitive damages for alleged violations of the Alien Tort Statute, a US law often invoked in lawsuits alleging human rights abuses, the newsagency said.

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The government would have a chance to respond to the lawsuit after it was served, the report said, adding that it usually takes a few months for a judge to decide whether a case may proceed.

The US Supreme Court made it harder to pursue many ATS lawsuits in 2013 when it ruled that claims must “touch and concern” US territory “with sufficient force” to displace the presumption that the law does not cover non-US conduct, Reuters reported.

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