Myanmar's farmers face criminal charges over land rights

A human rights watchdog says farmers in Myanmar's Karen state are being pushed off their land and face arrest and prison for opposing such practices.

The report by Human Rights Watch says livelihoods of 70 percent of the Southeast Asian nation's population that relies on agriculture are under threat by corrupt land administration officials, abusive militias and local authorities.

The Assistant Association for Political Prisoners, a non-profit group, says more than 40 farmers are on trial while three others have been sentenced to three to five years imprisonment on charges of protesting usurpation of their land rights.

Human Rights Watch says Aung San Suu Kyi's government, which took office more than five months ago following five decades of military rule, has not responded to any of the particular cases.