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JAC's Press Release
For Immediate release
Burmese Democracy Activists Beaten At Tokyo Concert
Tokyo - May 23rd, 1999. Two Burmese democracy activists were severely beaten
at a concert today in Tokyo by what many believe to be people affiliated
with the Myanmar Embassy of Japan.
The two Burmese men Khin Maung Oo (36) and Michael Collins (30), were
severely beaten by several people around 4 p.m. today. Both men, residents
of Japan, have been local supporters of democracy in Burma. Burma has been
under military rule since 1962 and ruled by the current regime after
September of 1988 when a military junta staged a coup.
The concert, wich was held by the Myanmar Embassy, was held at Nihon Kyoiku
Kaikan in central Tokyo. The event drew roughly 200 attendees.
Several eye-witnesses said the two men had peacefully watched the concert.
When the concert ended, some shouts calling for democracy were heard.
Suddenly five or six people, who are believed to be personnel affiliated
with Embassy, grabbed the two men and began kicking and hitting them
ruthlessly with a flashlight and a camera.
The two victims were immediately brought to a hospital by an ambulance. One
was admitted to the hospital for treatment of severe head wounds. The other
was treated for a injuries to the nose. Both were released from the hospital
We, the Joint Action Committee (JAC), believe that the incident clearly
shows that the military junta that rules Burma condones the repression of
Burmese nationals even outside its jurisdiction. We believe the junta's
action today broke the laws of a foreign country.
The JAC humbly requests that the Japanese government take proper actions
against the perpetrators. The individuals should not be allowed to take
diplomatic immunity. We urge the Japanese authorities to investigate the
incident thoroughly and the perpetrators be brought to justice. We would
also like to request the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee,
Amnesty International and other human rights organizations to denounce this
act which seriously violate human rights.
Based in Tokyo, the Joint Action Committee is an umbrella organization of
Burmese democracy groups, including National League for Democracy(LA) Japan
Branch, Burmese Association in Japan, Burma Youth Volunteer
Association(Japan), Students' Organization for Liberation of Burma(Japan)
and Burmese Women Union(Japan Branch). The JAC can be reached at the
NLD(LA)Japan Branch Tel/Fax 813 5974-1981(NLD-LA Japan)
Burmese Association in Japan Tel/Fax 813 3916-3942(BAIJ)
Burma Youth Volunteer Association(Japan) Tel/Fax 813 3916-4996(BYVA)
Students' Organization for Liberation of Burma (Japan) Tel/Fax 813 5396
Burmese Women Union (Japan Branch)Tel/Fax 813 3917-6748(BWU)