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Thein Sein, left, was pressed by David Cameron to improve Burma's human rights record during their meeting in London Photo: EPA
Burmese police accused of targeting and torturing homosexuals

in MYANMAR, 26/07/2013

A dozen gay men in Mandalay are alleged to have been stripped, beaten and abused by police who said they were performing a "public service" by detaining them.

News of the arrests comes less than a week after Burmese president Thein Sein was pressed by David Cameron to improve Burma's human rights record during their meeting in London.

Despite widely-praised reforms since 2011, around 300 political prisoners remain jailed in the former military state, while the government has been accused of failing to take action to stop the recent deadly wave of violence against Muslims.

The men, who were wearing women's clothes, were rounded up earlier this month after gathering by the historic moat in the centre of Mandalay, Burma's second city. They were stripped in public, before being taken to a nearby police station where they were repeatedly punched and kicked.

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