World

Human rights report says evidence suggests Myanmar commander committed war crimes

  • FILE - In this June 26, 2011 file photo, Myanmar Home Affairs Minister Lt. Gen. Ko Ko attends a ceremony to mark "International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking" in Naypyitaw, Myanmar. Military activities carried out by the powerful minister when the country was under dictatorship could constitute war crimes, a new study charges, saying there is evidence that he and two other generals were responsible for the executions, torture and enslavement of civilians by troops during a large-scale offensive against ethnic rebels. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win, File)

    FILE - In this June 26, 2011 file photo, Myanmar Home Affairs Minister Lt. Gen. Ko Ko attends a ceremony to mark "International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking" in Naypyitaw, Myanmar. Military activities carried out by the powerful minister when the country was under dictatorship could constitute war crimes, a new study charges, saying there is evidence that he and two other generals were responsible for the executions, torture and enslavement of civilians by troops during a large-scale offensive against ethnic rebels. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Feb. 12, 2013 photo, soldiers of Karen National Union (KNU) patrol in Hpa-an village, Karen State, Myanmar.  Military activities carried out by Myanmar's powerful minister of home affairs Ko Ko when the country was under dictatorship could constitute war crimes, a new study charges, saying there is evidence that he and two other generals were responsible for the executions, torture and enslavement of civilians by troops during a large-scale offensive against ethnic rebels.(AP Photo)

    In this Feb. 12, 2013 photo, soldiers of Karen National Union (KNU) patrol in Hpa-an village, Karen State, Myanmar. Military activities carried out by Myanmar's powerful minister of home affairs Ko Ko when the country was under dictatorship could constitute war crimes, a new study charges, saying there is evidence that he and two other generals were responsible for the executions, torture and enslavement of civilians by troops during a large-scale offensive against ethnic rebels.(AP Photo)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Feb. 12, 2013 photo, soldiers of Karen National Union (KNU) take a rest as they patrol in Hpa-an village, Karen State, Myanmar.  Military activities carried out by Myanmar's powerful minister of home affairs Ko Ko when the country was under dictatorship could constitute war crimes, a new study charges, saying there is evidence that he and two other generals were responsible for the executions, torture and enslavement of civilians by troops during a large-scale offensive against ethnic rebels. (AP Photo)

    In this Feb. 12, 2013 photo, soldiers of Karen National Union (KNU) take a rest as they patrol in Hpa-an village, Karen State, Myanmar. Military activities carried out by Myanmar's powerful minister of home affairs Ko Ko when the country was under dictatorship could constitute war crimes, a new study charges, saying there is evidence that he and two other generals were responsible for the executions, torture and enslavement of civilians by troops during a large-scale offensive against ethnic rebels. (AP Photo)  (The Associated Press)

A report by human rights researchers at Harvard Law School has found that military activities carried out by Myanmar's powerful Minister of Home Affairs when the country was still under dictatorship could constitute war crimes.

The report released Friday says there is evidence that Ko Ko and two high-ranking colleagues were responsible for the executions, torture and enslavement of civilians by government troops during an offensive against ethnic rebels.

The researchers said they spent three years collecting information about the government's 2005-2006 counterinsurgency efforts in Karen state along the country's eastern border.

The Harvard findings come just before U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders attend an Asian summit meeting in Myanmar next week.

The government responded by saying much of what happens during times of conflict is unavoidable.