Annual Report 2013
The state of the world's human rights

28 November 2007

Arrests continue in Myanmar

Arrests continue in Myanmar
The Myanmar government continues to detain monks and dissidents, despite the assurance by Prime Minister Thein Sein to the UN Special Representative Ibrahim Gambari in early November that no more arrests would be carried out.

Two months after the violent crackdown on peaceful demonstrators in Myanmar, the systematic suppression of freedom of expression and association continues unabated. This runs counter to the government’s repeated claims of a return to normalcy in the country.

However, there is the question of what 'normalcy' can mean in the context of Myanmar?

For the military government, it may mean a return to systematic and widespread human rights violations away from media attention.

The international community must therefore no longer tolerate this situation.

Amnesty International is deeply disappointed by the fact that these arrests are still taking place despite the government's claims to the contrary.

Just last week, the Myanmar government attended ASEAN's 40th Anniversary Summit, where it signed the organization's new charter committing it to the "promotion and protection of human rights".

Up to 700 people arrested during and since the September protests remain behind bars, while 1,150 political prisoners held prior to the protests have not been released. Detainees have been poorly treated - and in some cases tortured - while others have been sentenced to lengthy jail terms after unfair trials.

Myanmar has still not accounted for those killed during the demonstrations, or for those subjected to enforced disappearance. The authorities have not carried out independent, impartial investigations into deaths in custody, or even attempted to bring those responsible for unlawful killings and other violations to justice.

In stark contrast, they have stated that legal action will be taken against the 91 individuals they acknowledge are in custody for participation in the protests - citing “conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism”.

Amnesty International is urgently calling on the government of Myanmar to stop making further arrests and to release all those detained or imprisoned merely for the peaceful exercise of their rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association, including both long-term and recent prisoners of conscience.


New arrests:
  • 4 November – U Gambira, head of the All-Burma Monks Alliance and a leader of the September protests, was arrested and reportedly charged with treason. Two of his family members, previously detained as 'hostages' in an attempt to force him out of hiding, have been kept in detention;
  • 13 November – The government arrested Su Su Nway, a member of the youth wing of the main opposition National League for Democracy party. Fellow youth activist Bo Bo Win Hlaing was arrested with her while putting up anti-government posters;
  • 14 November – At least three people were arrested in Yangon for passing out anti-government pamphlets;
  • 15 November – Authorities raided a monastery in western Rakhine State and arrested monk U Than Rama, wanted for his involvement in the September protests. He was reportedly beaten during the raid and his whereabouts remain unknown.
  • 20 November – Myint Naing, a senior member of the National League for Democracy, was detained;
  • 20 November – Ethnic Arakanese leader U Tin Ohn was detained and his whereabouts remain unknown;
  • 20 / 21 November – Other ethnic leaders, including Arakanese Cin Sian Thang and U Aye Thar Aung, Naing Ngwe Thein from the Mon National Democracy Front, and Kachin political leader U Hkun Htoo, were rounded up but released after questioning;
  • 24 November – Eight members of the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) were arrested. It is believed that this was due to KIO's refusal to accede to the government's demand that they publicly renounce the recent statement by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
  • 26 November – Aung Zaw Oo, a member of the Human Rights Defenders and Promoters group, was arrested in Yangon, seemingly for his involvement in planning events for International Human Rights Day on 10 December
  • 27 November – Three people were arrested in a tea shop in Yangon. They were: Win Maw, lead guitarist in the popular Shwe Thansin band. He was previously in prison from 1997 to 2003 for writing songs in support of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi; Myat San, a former long-term political prisoner and a member of the Tri-Colour Students Group; and Aung Aung, who is a friend of the two men.

Read More

The Monk's Tale: Death in detention (Feature, 9 November 2007)

Monks return to streets of Myanmar (News, 2 November 2007)

Myanmar: 18 years of persecution (Feature, 24 October 2007)

Activists tell of Myanmar 'witch hunt' (News, 19 October 2007)

Issue

Freedom Of Expression 
Law Enforcement 
Prisoners Of Conscience 
Torture And Ill-treatment 
Trials And Legal Systems 

Country

Myanmar 

Region

Asia And The Pacific 

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