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Home > Main Library > Human Rights > Detentions, Trials, Independence of the Judiciary > Detentions, unfair trials, Independence of the judiciary: political prisoners and other violations in Burma

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Detentions, unfair trials, Independence of the judiciary: political prisoners and other violations in Burma
Not a comprehensive list. For more, including updates, go to the publishers' home pages and search. Also use the OBL search function.

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: Free Burma's Political Prisoners Now! Campaign from 13 March 2009
Date of publication: 13 March 2009
Description/subject: JOIN THE CAMPAIGN: There are over 2,100 political prisoners languishing in prisons all over Burma. Free Burma’s Political Prisoners Now aims to collect 888,888 signatures before 24 May 2009, the legal date that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi should be released from house arrest. This is a united global campaign working with over a hundred groups from around the globe. The petition calls on UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to make it his personal priority to secure the release of all political prisoners in Burma, as the essential first step towards democracy in the country... HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO! 1. Sign the Petition... 2. Get your friends, families, and colleagues to sign. (Join our pages on Facebook and Youtube as well)... 3. Download the campaign kit (to the left) and get those in your community involved. Tell them about the situation in Burma and the courageous actions of Burma’s political prisoners... 4. Tell the FBPPN Campaign Committee what you are doing so that we can share with others about the global movement for Burma’s political prisoners. Email info@fbppn.net... WHY THIS CAMPAIGN IS SO IMPORTANT: Daw Aung Suu Kyi says, “We are all prisoners in our own country.” Political prisoners are not criminals. They have courageously spoken out on behalf of those who have been silenced. The release of all political prisoners is the essential first step towards freedom and democracy in Burma. There can be no democratic transition without them. They must be allowed to freely participate in any future democratic political process.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Free Burma's Political Prisoners Now!
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 13 March 2009


Title: AAPPB - Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma)
Description/subject: Along with the Online Burma Library's Human Rights > Detention section, this is the most comprehensive Internet collection of documents on political prisoners in Burma. This site contains regularly updated lists of: all political prisoners; imprisoned MPs; women prisoners; imprisoned writers and journalists; prisoners held under Article 10(A) though their sentences have been completed; political prisoners who have died while in custody; Members of Parliament elected in 1990. Map of prisons; list of prisons; list of labour camps. It also houses more than 100 documents related to political prisoners in Burma -- articles, books, reports, letters, statements by AAPPB, NLD, Aung San Suu Kyi and others. News items and updates on particular prisoners. Statement on the establishment of the Free Political Prisoners Campaign Committee (FPPCC) and more.
Language: English
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: AAPPB Photo Gallery
Description/subject: "In this section you will find photographs of political prisoners currently serving sentences in Burmese prisons, photographs of prisons and prisoners working in Labour Camps or on constuction projects throughout Burma. We have also included illustrations of poun-zan, which are the positions used by the Burmese prison system to de-humanize prisoners... Learning Behind Bars: Political prisoners are not allowed to read or write while in prison. Despite their jailers' efforts to shackle their minds, Burmese political prisoners remain determined to learn even under the worst of circumstances. View Photographs - Read Article 1 - Read Article 2... There are 38 major prisons currently in Burma. Over 20 house political prisoners, even a number of Monks included. View Photos... If you are a photographer with images that you may think will be of value to AAPP, please send them as jpeg attachments to AAPP...
Language: English
Source/publisher: Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma) - AAPPB
Format/size: JPEG
Date of entry/update: 07 July 2003


Title: Asian Human Rights Commission - Search results for Myanmar
Description/subject: Several hundred reports and urgent appeals on legal events in Burma/Myanmar, including restrictions on lawyers and unjust conduct of legal proceedings.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asian Human Rights Commission
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 22 February 2012


Title: Enigma Images
Description/subject: "James Mackay, a documentary photographer based in South East Asia and the UK specialises in Burma, both in-country and around political and human rights issues along it's borders and those in exile around the world. Below are a selection of photo-stories providing a glimpse at life in the darkness of the Golden Land. In 1962 a military coup saw Burma, an isolated Buddhist country in South-East Asia, come under the power of one of the world’s most brutal regimes. For the past five decades, the country has been ruled through fear and oppression that has seen thousands of people arrested, tortured and given long prison sentences for openly expressing their beliefs as well as crimes against humanity being committed in the country's ethnic regions. More than a million people have been left internally displaced and over 150,000 now live as stateless refugees on Burma's numerous borders. Whilst the democracy movement once again gathers pace under the renewed leadership of Aung San Suu Kyi, the people of Burma remain shackled by an authoritarian regime and are left to suffer silently in the hope that one day true freedom will be theirs.".....Special focus on Burma's political prisoners.....Galleries include: AUNG SAN SUU KYI: AT HOME WITH... THE DARKNESS WE SEE... ABHAYA: BURMA'S FEARLESSNESS... BURMA'S DEFIANCE... THE PRISON WITHOUT BARS... BURMA VJ: INSIDE THE SECRET NETWORK... THIS IS ANOTHER PLACE... NO DISTANCE LEFT TO RUN... BURMA'S POLITICAL PRISONERS... SUFFER LITTLE CHILDREN... ORDINARY PLACES: EXTRAORDINARY LIVES... FLEEING THE FRONTLINE... KNLA: A REVOLUTION TO THE END
Author/creator: James Mackay,
Language: English
Source/publisher: Enigma Images
Format/size: html, jpeg, gif
Date of entry/update: 23 November 2011


Title: Monthly chronology of political prisoners in Burma
Description/subject: Archive from September 2008
Language: English
Source/publisher: Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 08 November 2012


Title: Prisoner Lists - Members of parliament
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Research Pages
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Prisoner Lists -- of doctors, authors, female, death in custody,
Description/subject: Lists of doctors, authors, female, death in custody, full list.
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Research Pages
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Individual Documents

Title: Myanmar mourns Win Tin
Date of publication: 25 April 2014
Description/subject: "Thousands of people streamed through a funeral hall here on Wednesday to pay last respects to Win Tin, one of Myanmar's most respected political activists and journalists. Self-opinionated and unbowed by authority, Win Tin was a leading figure in the country's military suppressed pro-democracy movement as a political prisoner for nearly two decades. He died earlier this week of kidney failure at the age of 85. Released from prison in a general amnesty in 2008, Win Tin remained a thorn in the side of the country's military leaders until the end. "We should never compromise with the army," he told this writer shortly before he was hospitalized last year. "If they don't change the constitution, including [amendments] allowing Aung San Suu Kyi to become president, we should take to the streets and protest. The people want change..."
Author/creator: Larry Jagan
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 27 May 2014


Title: BURMA/MYANMAR: Amnesty does not free all political detainees
Date of publication: 31 December 2013
Description/subject: "The Asian Human Rights Commission welcomes Order No. 51/2013 of 30 December 2013 by the president of Burma (Myanmar), issuing a general amnesty for all persons imprisoned or facing trial or investigation for certain categories of political offences. The categories include persons accused or convicted of offences under the colonial-era Unlawful Associations Act, for charges of treason, sedition or disturbing the public tranquillity under the Penal Code (sections 122, 124A and 505[b]), the 2011 Peaceful Assembly and Procession Law, and the 1950 Emergency Provisions Act. According to latest reports, eligible prisoners are today being released from jails around the country. Image Courtesy: Flickr.com The order has been issued in order to fulfil the president’s commitment given previously that all political prisoners would be released by the end of 2013, both by ensuring the release from prison of people detained under political offences, and halting actions against people currently facing such charges. Insofar as it does this it has a general expediency; however, the amnesty fails to take into account the fact that now, as in the past, Burma’s prisons contain people detained for political reasons who have been charged with non-political offences..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)
Format/size: html (46K)
Date of entry/update: 04 January 2014


Title: Right to Counsel: The Independence of Lawyers in Myanmar
Date of publication: 03 December 2013
Description/subject: Lawyers continue to encounter impediments to the exercise of their professional functions and freedom of association, as well as pervasive corruption, although they have been able to act with greater independence, says the ICJ in a new report launched today. Right to Counsel: The Independence of Lawyers in Myanmar – based on interviews with 60 lawyers in practice in the country – says authorities have significantly decreased their obstruction of, and interference in, legal processes since the country began political reforms in 2011. “The progress made in terms of freedom of expression and respect for the legal process is very visible,” said Sam Zarifi, ICJ Asia-Pacific director. “But despite the improvements, lawyers still face heavy restrictions and attacks on their independence, which can result in uncertainty and fear, particularly when it comes to politically sensitive issues.” Systemic corruption continues to affect every aspect of a lawyer’s career and, as a result, is never absent from lawyers’ calculations vis-à-vis legal fees, jurisdictions and overall strategy. “Corruption is so embedded in the legal system that it is taken for granted,” Zarifi said. “When the public also generally assumes that corruption undermines the legal system, this severely weakens the notion of rule of law.” “Lawyers in Myanmar, as elsewhere, play an indispensable role in the fair and effective administration of justice,” Zarifi added. “This is essential for the protection of human rights in the country and the establishment of an enabling environment for international cooperation towards investment and development.” But lawyers in Myanmar lack an independent Bar Council, the report says, noting that the Myanmar Bar Council remains a government-controlled body that fails to adequately protect the interests of lawyers in the country and promote their role in the fair and effective administration of justice. The ICJ report shows that other multiple long-standing and systemic problems affect the independence of lawyers, including the poor state of legal education and improper interferences on the process of licensing of lawyers. In its report, which presents a snapshot of the independence of lawyers in private practice in Myanmar in light of international standards and in the context of the country’s rapid and on-going transition, the ICJ makes a series of recommendations: The Union Attorney-General and Union Parliament should significantly reform the Bar Council to ensure its independence; The Union Attorney-General and Union Parliament should create a specialized, independent mechanism mandated with the prompt and effective criminal investigation of allegations of corruption; The Ministry of Education should, in consultation with the legal profession, commit to improving legal education in Myanmar by bolstering standards of admission to law school, law school curricula, and instruction and assessment of students.
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Commission of Jurists (ICJ)
Format/size: pdf (463K-reduced version; 1.6MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://icj.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/MYANMAR-Right-to-Counsel-electronic.p...
http://www.icj.org
Date of entry/update: 09 December 2013


Title: BURMA/MYANMAR: Activist sentenced to eleven years' jail for opposing army copper mine
Date of publication: 12 August 2013
Description/subject: "...The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has previously issued a statement on the ongoing targeting and arrests of activists and farmers opposed to the expansion of an army-backed copper mining operation in the Letpadaung Hills of Sagaing Region (AHRC-STM-108-2013). In this appeal we bring you the full details of the numerous charges brought against one of those activists, Ko Aung Soe, who was arrested with two other persons for working with farmers organising against the mining operation. Aung Soe has now been sentenced to eleven-and-a-half years in jail in patently unfair trials that closely resemble those of the decades of military rule in Burma..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 12 August 2013


Title: Burma's Forgotten Political Prisoners
Date of publication: May 2013
Description/subject: "The international community is normalising relations, praising reforms and lifting pressure on Burma despite the fact that the military-backed government keeps hundreds of political prisoners in jail. Hundreds of political prisoners remain in jail two years after the reform process started. The Burmese government has used releases of political prisoners as public relations exercises to achieve good publicity, and to persuade the international community to lift sanctions. The release of political prisoners is often timed to coincide with key political developments in order to try and convince the international community about the reforms...n addition, more activists and ethnic people are being arrested, and sometimes tortured brutally and forced to make false confessions. Following his visit to Burma in February 2013, the UN Special Rapporteur not only highlighted the on- going detention of political prisoners, but also the increasing reports of the use of torture against some detainees..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Campaign UK (Burma Briefing 25)
Format/size: pdf (192K)
Date of entry/update: 27 May 2013


Title: BURMA: Former activist monk and demonstrators among detainees in wave of arrests
Date of publication: 06 December 2012
Description/subject: "The Asian Human Rights Commission is concerned by a recent wave of arrests in Burma, signaling that continuation of repressive practices from earlier periods of direct military rule. Among those arrested are a number of leaders of recent demonstrations against a copper mining project in the north of the country, and a former monk who after his release from prison at the start of the year has been subjected to constant harassment and abuse. We are calling for the release of all these persons who have done nothing other than exercise their rights to participate in social life at a time that the government of Burma claims to be democratizing...."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 06 December 2012


Title: BURMA: Court issues landmark ruling on death in police custody
Date of publication: 05 December 2012
Description/subject: "In a landmark ruling, a court in Burma has rejected the police version of events that led to the death of a man in their custody, and has opened the door to a charge of murder to be brought against the officers involved. In its findings of 9 November 2012, a copy of which the Asian Human Rights Commission has obtained, the Mayangone Township Court ruled in the case of the deceased Myo Myint Swe that the death was unlikely to have been natural. Despite attempts by the police of the Bayinnaung Police Station to cover up the torture and murder of Myo Myint Swe, whom they had arrested over the death of a young woman, Judge Daw Aye Mya Theingi found that even though the investigating doctor had been equivocal about whether or not extensive external injuries caused by torture had resulted in the death, on the basis of the testimonies, written records and photographs submitted to the court, it was "difficult to conclude that the death was natural"..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 05 December 2012


Title: Arbitrary Arrests in Burma: a tool to repress critical voices
Date of publication: 27 September 2012
Description/subject: "The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma) is highly concerned that the government of Burma continues to use arbitrary arrest as a tool to hold members of the democracy and human rights movement behind bars often without formal charges. The highly celebrated political prisoner amnesties that occurred in 2012 have coincided with an alarming increase in the number of arbitrary arrests. The ongoing arrests suggest that Burma has made no significant progress towards protecting and promoting the fundamental civil and political liberties of the people. * Since January 2012, there has been a substantial increase in the number of activists and dissidents detained without any formal charges in Burma. We have documented at least 200 politically motivated arrests without formal charges in this eight month time period. Of these arrests, less than 60 have resulted in formal court proceedings. Many leave detention unsure whether they will face trial or not. It is clear that politically motivated arrests remains a favored tactic for suppressing critical voices of democracy and human rights. * There has been no trend towards emptying Burma’s prisons of political prisoners. The high rate of detentions documented since January 2012 indicate that the prisons in Burma are being restocked after a prisoner release. At least 200 individuals have been detained and arrested since January 2012. This is roughly half the number of political prisoners released in the same period and a major cause of concern. * The series of political prisoner amnesties since January 2012, resulting in the release of approximately 448 political prisoners, is not a reflection of a more welcoming environment for basic civil and political freedoms. Those who speak out continue to be intimidated and treated in a degrading manner consistent with extreme tactics used when Burma was under direct military rule. Common means of intimidation, which include sexual violence and beatings, are never investigated by the police or judiciary. * The arrest rates correlates to the highs and lulls in Burma popular resistance. For example, arrest rates are highest in the months of May, July, and September, which coincide with the protests against power cuts, commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the military crackdown on student demonstrations, and the copper mine and clothing factory protests respectively. In July, the number of new detentions climbed to 58, and in September, the number of detentions was 23, not including 13 peace network activists now facing sentences of 1 years in 10 different townships, amounting to a potential 10 year imprisonment on charges of breaching the protest bill."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma)
Format/size: pdf (159K)
Date of entry/update: 28 September 2012


Title: MYANMAR: Justice trade obstructing human rights in Myanmar
Date of publication: 04 June 2012
Description/subject: A written statement submitted by the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC), a non-governmental organisation with general consultative status..... The Asian Legal Resource Centre has in numerous previous written statements submitted to the Human Rights Council and to its predecessor described how the politicization and decrepitude of Myanmar's courts, policing and prosecution agencies are major obstacles to the enjoyment of basic human rights in the country. In the last year, as political conditions have begun to change, many organizations and concerned individuals have in turn begun to appreciate the extent to which the country's justice system is indeed a heavy barrier to the realization of human rights. In particular, many people have begun to take seriously calls to study and develop responses to the pervasive corruption in the system. Meanwhile, public debate about corruption has steadily increased.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC)
Format/size: pdf (107K)
Date of entry/update: 04 June 2012


Title: Incident Report: Arbitrary detention and violent abuse in Dooplaya District, December 2011
Date of publication: 16 March 2012
Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in February 2012 by a villager describing events occurring in Dooplaya District in December 2011. The villager reported an incident that took place in H--- village on December 12th, during which Burmese soldiers from Battalion #--- arrested ten villagers on suspicion of their being KNLA soldiers because they had tattoos, and took them to T---. The village head petitioned the soldiers and secured the release of five of the villagers, and one other villager succeeded in escaping, however according to a villager trained by KHRG, the remaining four villagers were violently abused during a period of arbitrary detention that lasted two-and-a-half months, until their release on February 28th 2012."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (112K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b26.html
Date of entry/update: 12 April 2012


Title: Political prisoner list is now 1,572 – location of 918 confirmed and documented
Date of publication: 23 December 2011
Description/subject: "...The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma), AAPP has been verifying the political prisoner database in attempts to publicly account for each individual who has been unjustly detained and arrested for exercising their fundamental freedoms. AAPP can now verify there are at least 1,572 individuals in Burma who have been arrested and sentenced on political grounds and are believed to currently be in prison. There is an ongoing secondary verification process to confirm their current whereabouts, for example, whether they are in prison or have been released. The verification process is currently underway, and this does not mean there are only 918 political prisoners in Burma. AAPP maintains that the number of political prisoners is likely much higher, given the lack of access and reliable information in remote ethnic areas, monasteries, and during periods of mass arrests, compounded by the absolute lack of prison transparency in Burma. The number of verified political prisoners will continue to increase as the verification process continues, and AAPP will make sure to provide the public with consistent updates as to progress made..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma)
Format/size: pdf (604K)
Date of entry/update: 27 December 2011


Title: "Myanmar: Government must go further with prisoner release" - Amnesty International
Date of publication: 12 October 2011
Description/subject: "The release of at least 120 political prisoners in Myanmar today is a minimum first step, and authorities must immediately and unconditionally release all remaining prisoners of conscience, Amnesty International said. Prisoners of conscience make up the majority of the political prisoners still jailed after the measure. “This release of political prisoners is welcome, but is not consistent with the authorities’ recent promises of political reform in Myanmar”, said Benjamin Zawacki, Amnesty International’s Myanmar researcher. “Unless the figure rises substantially, it will constitute a relaxation of reform efforts rather than a bold step forward”...."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Amnesty International
Format/size: pdf (76K)
Date of entry/update: 12 October 2011


Title: CRITERIA FOR AAPP’S DEFINITION OF A POLITICAL PRISONER
Date of publication: 30 September 2011
Description/subject: "AAPP defines a political prisoner as anyone who is arrested because of his or her perceived or real active involvement or supporting role in political movements with peaceful or resistant means. AAPP maintains that the motivation behind the arrest of every individual in AAPP’s database is political, regardless of the laws they have been sentenced under..."...List of laws commonly used to arbitrarily detain activists or criminalize dissent.... N. B. the texts of all of these laws can be found in the Law And Constitution section of the Online Burma/Myanmar Library
Language: English
Source/publisher: Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma)
Format/size: pdf ( 231K - OBL version; 324K - original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs12/Criteria_for_AAPP-B_definition_of_a_political_prisoner.pdf-red.p...
Date of entry/update: 11 October 2011


Title: The role of students in the 8888 People's Uprising in Burma
Date of publication: 08 August 2011
Description/subject: "...Twenty three years ago today, on 8 August 1988, hundreds of thousands of people flooded the streets of Burma demanding an end to the suffocating military rule which had isolated and bankrupted the country since 1962. Their united cries for a transition to democracy shook the core of the country, bringing Burma to a crippling halt. Hope radiated throughout the country. Teashop owners replaced their store signs with signs of protest, dock workers left behind jobs to join the swelling crowds, and even some soldiers were reported to have been so moved by the demonstrations to lay down their arms and join the protestors. There was so much promise...The leaders of the 88 generation have a particularly important role to play in the future of Burma. Not only are they widely admired but they have repeatedly shown their ability to unite ordinary people from all walks of life under a common cause: equality; self-determination; and democratization. This struggle for a unified Burma has been ongoing since independence and cannot be achieved unless there is an inclusive dialogue between the ruling “civilian” regime, the National League for Democracy, and representatives of all ethnic nationality groups to discuss the future of a unified Burma. Until these issues are resolved, Burma will not transition into a peaceful, democratic, and developing country..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma)
Format/size: pdf (661K)
Date of entry/update: 08 September 2011


Title: BURMA: Supreme Court rules that judges holding trials inside prisons have no authority over their own courtrooms
Date of publication: 23 February 2011
Description/subject: "In an astounding ruling that underscores the extent to which the judiciary in Burma has abdicated its authority in favour of the security services, a Supreme Court justice has ruled that permission or refusal of observers to attend trial hearings held inside prison facilities is not a matter for the presiding judges to decide. The ruling effectively means that judges holding trials inside Burma's jails have no power over who comes in or goes out of the courtroom, which resides instead with the prison staff..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asian Human Rights Commission
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 05 March 2011


Title: Locked In, Locked Out
Date of publication: October 2010
Description/subject: Election holds little hope for Burma’s political prisoners... "Violence, intimidation and arbitrary detention have no place in free, fair and credible elections. Where violence and intimidation are routine or accepted as a fact of life then the ruse of a “free and fair” election must be exposed for what it is. Rather than bettering the lives of Burma’s 50 million people, the November election is increasing the threats that people face, on a daily basis, from the regime..."
Author/creator: Bo Kyi
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 10
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 22 July 2012


Title: NO EASY ROAD: A BURMESE POLITICAL PRISONER'S STORY - The Life of Thiha Yarzar
Date of publication: October 2010
Description/subject: Preface by Aye Min Soe; Introduction by Paul Pickrem; Chapter 1: Standing With The Lady; Chapter 2: Dreaming the Prisoner’s Dream; Chapter 3: Sentenced to Die; Chapter 4: The Colonel’s Son; Chapter 5: Student Activist to Armed Revolutionary; Chapter 6: On the Run; Chapter 7: Caught; Chapter 8: The Pain Begins; Chapter 9: Death Row Again; Chapter 10: Taungoo, Kalay, and Taunggyi; Chapter 11: Mai Sat; Chapter 12: The Prisoner’s Dream Comes True; Chapter 13: Life on Another Planet; Chapter 14: Free Burma!; Appendix I: Timeline of Modern Burmese History; Appendix II: Map of Burmese Prisons; Appendix III: 20 Recommended Books; Appendix IV: Recommended Burma‐Related Websites.
Author/creator: Paul Pickrem
Language: English
Source/publisher: Canadian Friends of Burma, ExPP‐ACT,The Best Friend Library
Format/size: pdf (584K)
Date of entry/update: 22 October 2010


Title: The Incongruous Return of Habeas Corpus to Myanmar
Date of publication: 25 August 2010
Description/subject: CONCLUSION: "Where the role of the courts is to assist in a state programme, rather than check executive power, policy directives can be implemented through the judiciary in the same way as through the administrative bureaucracy. By contrast, systems like those in Sri Lanka or Nepal may be defective and compromised but judges in them do still adjudicate more according to the terms of law than according to the dictates of executive officers. Ironically, a corrupted policy-implementing judicial system like that in Myanmar can be mistaken for an efficient system in contrast to its functionally separate counterparts, because its efficiency derives from the carrying out of orders and urgency to make money through the exercise of authority, not from integrity or professionalism of the sort that courts in other countries struggle to achieve, however imperfectly and half-heartedly. This is the real incongruity of habeas corpus as an element in the 2008 Constitution of Myanmar. Habeas corpus is premised on the idea that courts have the power to compel soldiers, police and other officials to follow their orders. In Myanmar, where the judiciary is a proxy for the executive, judges have this power only where they have the approval and backing of higher executive authorities. Whereas in certain authoritarian settings the courts have retained nominal legal power over other parts of government but have been unable or unwilling to exercise it at certain times because of extenuating circumstances, in Myanmar the problem is much more basic. Myanmar’s courts don’t have effective authority over other parts of government at all. Their capacity to review the activities of state agencies and agents is limited to what the executive permits them. Under these circumstances, not only is the reintroducing of habeas corpus a figment but so too is any constitutional commitment to protect the individual, because all such legal commitments are delimited by higher administrative imperatives. Only where legal and administrative objectives coincide can the former prevail. The incongruity of habeas corpus in the new constitution percolates throughout the charter’s contents, and through the extant state institutions that will be responsible for establishing new institutions in accordance with its terms following general elections. Where the armed forces rather than the judiciary have responsibility to safeguard the constitution and uphold the rule of law, statements of citizens’ rights are perverse. Where the state has subordinated legality to policy and detached policy from any coherent ideology, no amount of technical or procedural rearranging can effect significant change. Because the new constitution is a vague expression that is not binding on its guardian, ultimately it contains no guarantees, whether for a political detainee, an ordinary under-trial accused or anyone else."
Author/creator: Nick Cheesman
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Ruling Myanmar From Cyclone Nargis to National Elections", Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS), Singapore, pp. 90-111
Format/size: pdf (177K)
Alternate URLs: https://anu-au.academia.edu/NickCheesman
Date of entry/update: 18 August 2014


Title: The Role of Political Prisoners in the National Reconciliation Process
Date of publication: March 2010
Description/subject: "...This report sets out the vitally important role of Burma's political prisoners in a process of national reconciliation, leading to democratic transition. A genuine, inclusive process of national reconciliation is urgently needed to resolve the current conflicts and make progress towards peace and democracy. A crucial first step in a national reconciliation process is official recognition of ALL Burma's 2,100 plus political prisoners, accompanied by their unconditional release. This is an essential part of trust-building between the military rulers, democratic forces, and wider society. In order for progress towards genuine national reconciliation and democratic transition to be sustainable, ordinary people across Burma must believe in the process. As long as activists remain in prison or continue to be arrested for voicing their political dissent, the people of Burma will have no trust in any political process proposed by the SPDC..."
Language: English (full text); Shan, Kachin, Burmese (executive summary)
Source/publisher: Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma) (AAPP)
Format/size: pdf (4.74MB- OBL version; 9.25MB - original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.aappb.org/The_Role_of_political_prisoners_in_the_national_reconciliation_process.pdf
http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs08/The_Role_of_political_prisoners-es-bu.pdf (Executive Summary, Burmese)
http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs08/The_Role_of_political_prisoners-es-ka.pdf (Executive Summary, Kachin)
http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs08/The_Role_of_political_prisoners-es-sh.pdf ((Executive Summary, Shan)
Date of entry/update: 21 May 2010


Title: Annual Report 2009: AAPP Political Prisoner Review
Date of publication: January 2010
Description/subject: "As of 31 December there were a total of 2,177 political prisoners in Burma. This is an overall increase of 15 in comparison to last year’s figure of 2,162. In 2009, 264 political prisoners were arrested and 266 were released. AAPP also received information about activists who were arrested and released before 2009, and this retroactive information explains why there is actually an overall increase of 15 during the course of 2009. These include:...Political prisoners in Burma continued to suffer in 2009. Despite positive signs such as the international community’s sustained condemnation of the military junta’s human rights abuses, and visits to Burma by numerous key international dignitaries and diplomats, over 2,100 political prisoners remain imprisoned across Burma. As detailed in AAPP’s May 2009 report, Burma’s Prisons and Labour Camps: Silent Killing Fields, inadequate medical care, systematic torture, long-term imprisonment, transfers to remote prisons, and denial of healthcare have led to a growing health crisis for political prisoners in Burma. As of 31 December 2009, there were 129 political prisoners in poor health, and during the course of the year at least 71 political prisoners were subjected to prison transfers. With national elections expected to take place in 2010 despite the ongoing detention of prominent political leaders such as NLD leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, AAPP views the release of all political prisoners in Burma as a necessary step towards national reconciliation, and the creation of a free and democratic Burma..."
Language: En glish
Source/publisher: Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma)
Format/size: pdf (434K)
Date of entry/update: 01 February 2010


Title: Burma Human Rights Yearbook 2008 - Chapter 1: Arbitrary Detention & Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances
Date of publication: 23 November 2009
Description/subject: "...Throughout 2008 Burma’s military junta maintained its campaign of oppression and tyranny against ordinary Burmese citizens, ethnic minorities, monks, political opposition groups and pro-democracy activists. Arrests and detention continued against, and were shaped by, a milieu of extremely significant national events. In August and September 2007, protests against the price increases of fuel erupted throughout Burma. Pro-democracy activists led the initial demonstrations in Burma’s main city, Rangoon. Approximately 400 people marched on 19 August 2007, in what turned out to be the largest demonstration in the military-ruled nation for several years. The authorities moved swiftly to quell the protests, rapidly arresting dozens of activists. Nonetheless, protests continued around the country. Numbers were small, but demonstrations were held in Rangoon, Sittwe and other prominent towns. The protests culminated with the Saffron Revolution; tens of thousands of Buddhist monks joined in a number of protests from 17-26 September. In the brutal crackdown which followed, many were killed and mass arbitrary arrests were carried out. Thousands of activists and monks were arrested and held in makeshift detention compounds..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Docmentation Unit (HRDU)
Format/size: pdf (895K)
Date of entry/update: 05 December 2009


Title: Above the Law
Date of publication: November 2009
Description/subject: Burma’s rulers will continue to lean heavily on the judiciary to impose their vision of a “discipline-flourishing democracy”... "After decades of military rule, many Burmese are no longer aware that their country had one of the most progressive judicial systems in the region after independence in 1948. Judges had secure salaries and could only be removed for misbehavior or incapacity. The courts were not afraid to challenge the executive, and the Supreme Court proclaimed that the 1947 Constitution should be interpreted in a “liberal and comprehensive spirit.” Even at the height of insurgencies against Rangoon in the late 1940s, the Supreme Court ordered police to release men who had been detained illegally. ILLUSTRATION: HARN LAY/THE IRRAWADDY The slide from a judiciary with integrity to its present role as defender of the military began when the late Gen Ne Win seized power and imprisoned Chief Justice Myint Thein for six years—longer than he imprisoned former Prime Minister U Nu. When Ne Win drafted the 1974 Constitution, he removed any remaining separation between the judiciary and the government. He packed the Council of People’s Justice, which replaced the Supreme Court, with members of the Burma Socialist Programme Party. The Constitution required the court to “protect the socialist system” rather than the rights of Burmese citizens. Although the military revived the Supreme Court in 1988, Human Rights Watch maintains that judges still “serve at the whim of the SPDC and must follow the directives of the military.”..."
Author/creator: Arnold Corso
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 17, No. 8
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 28 February 2010


Title: BURMA’S FORGOTTEN PRISONERS
Date of publication: 16 September 2009
Description/subject: A campaigning report with photos and profiles of some of the 2100 political prisoners (2009)...KEY FACTS ABOUT BURMA’S POLITICAL PRISONERS: • Activists and anyone outspoken against military rule have been routinely locked up in Burma’s prisons for years. • There are 43 prisons holding political activists in Burma, and over 50 labor camps where prisoners are forced into hard labor projects. • Beginning in late 2008, closed courts and courts inside prisons sentenced more than 300 activists including political figures, human rights defenders, labor activists, artists, journalists, internet bloggers, and Buddhist monks and nuns to lengthy prison terms. Some prison terms handed down were in excess of one hundred years. • The activists were mainly charged under provisions from Burma’s archaic Penal Code that criminalizes free expression, peaceful demonstrations, and forming organizations. • The sentencing was the second phase of a larger crackdown that began with the brutal suppression of peaceful protests in August and September 2007. The authorities arrested many of the activists during and in the immediate aftermath of the 2007 protests or in raids that swept Rangoon and other cities in Burma in late 2007 and 2008. • More than 20 prominent activists and journalists, including Burma’s most famous comedian, Zargana, were arrested for having spoken out about obstacles to humanitarian relief following Cyclone Nargis, which struck Burma in May 2008. • There are now more than 2,100 political prisoners in Burma—more than double the number in early 2007.
Language: English; French (extracts)
Source/publisher: Human Rights Watch
Format/size: pdf (1.51MB)
Date of entry/update: 18 September 2009


Title: One-way Street
Date of publication: July 2009
Description/subject: "Pro-democracy activists are not the only ones who have been a part of the tortuous history of Insein Prison and Burma’s most notorious court BURMESE lawyers call it “the one-way street,” but it is officially known as the “special court” at Insein Prison. The accused who end up here know that their fate is sealed before they even enter a plea. The verdict is preordained, and the sentence is invariably a long stretch in Insein—Burma’s most dreaded prison—or worse. Whatever the charge, there is never any doubt about the true nature of the offense. The allegations against the accused may be real or imagined, deadly serious or utterly ridiculous, but the “crime” is always the same: threatening the country’s despotic rulers’ hold on power. This has been the end of the road for many of Burma’s most prominent political prisoners, as well as countless others who have fallen afoul of the powers that be. Since the Buddhist monk-led uprising of September 2007 alone, hundreds of dissidents have been legally processed here and dispatched with ruthless efficiency to the Burmese gulag. But pro-democracy activists are not the only ones who have been robbed of long years of their lives by this kangaroo court. Often, those who come here to face summary justice are former colleagues or close associates of Burma’s military masters. When the mighty fall from grace, this is usually where they land. Here we present a few of the better known cases of doomed defendants who have passed through the special court after losing the confidence of their supreme leader...
Author/creator: Aung Zaw
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 17, No. 4
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 11 August 2009


Title: Burma's Prisons and Labour Camps: Silent Killing Fields
Date of publication: 11 May 2009
Description/subject: "In October 2008, reports emerged from Burma that the military junta had ordered its courts to expedite the trials of political activists. Since then, 357 activists have been handed down harsh punishments, including sentences of up to 104 years. Shortly after sentencing, the regime began to systematically transfer political prisoners to prisons all around Burma, far from their families. This has a serious detrimental impact on both their physical and mental health. Medical supplies in prisons are wholly inadequate, and often only obtained through bribes to prison officials. It is left to the families to provide medicines, but prison transfers make it very difficult for them to visit their loved ones in jail. Prison transfers are also another form of psychological torture by the regime, aimed at both the prisoners and their families. Since November 2008, at least 228 political prisoners have been transferred to jails away from their families. The long-term consequences for the health of political prisoners recently transferred will be very serious. At least 127 political prisoners are currently in poor health. At least 19 of them are in urgent need of proper medical treatment. Political prisonersâ' right to healthcare is systematically denied by the regime. Burma's healthcare system in prisons is completely inadequate, especially in jails in remote areas. There are 44 prisons across Burma, and at least 50 labour camps. Some of them do not have a prison hospital, and at least 12 of the prisons do not even have a prison doctor. The regime's treatment of political prisoners directly contravenes the 1957 UN standard minimum rules for the treatment of prisoners. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) carried out its last prison visit in Burma in November 2005. In January 2006 the ICRC suspended prison visits in the country, as it was not allowed to fulfil its independent, impartial mandate. Since 1988 at least 139 political prisoners have died in detention, as a direct result of severe torture, denial of medical treatment, and inadequate medical care. Many, like Htay Lwin Oo, were suffering from curable diseases such as tuberculosis. He died in Mandalay Prison in December 2008. He had been due for release in December this year... 1. Political Prisoners In Poor Health There are currently at least 127 political prisoners known to be in poor health..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma)
Format/size: pdf (681K)
Date of entry/update: 11 May 2009


Title: Time to Embrace the Truth
Date of publication: October 2008
Description/subject: "The release last month of Burma's longest-serving political prisoner, 79-year-old journalist Win Tin, must have briefly brightened up the restricted life of Aung San Suu Kyi, confined to her home for more than 13 of the past 19 years. But, while more than 2,000 political prisoners remain behind bars, Win Tin's newly won freedom is unlikely to have given her much hope that her ordeal would also soon be over..."
Author/creator: Editorial
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 16, No. 10
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 14 November 2008


Title: Burma Human Rights Yearbook 2007: Arbitrary Detention & Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances
Date of publication: September 2008
Description/subject: "Throughout 2007 the situation for the citizens of Burma, including the thousands of political prisoners held in Burma’s numerous prisons, deteriorated. Burma’s military junta, the SPDC, continued a policy of arbitrarily detaining and harassing the political opposition, pro-democracy activists, members of ethnic minorities, and ordinary citizens. While politically motivated arrests were carried out all year, a spike in arrests was seen during and after the pro-democracy protests in August and September. The extensive arrest campaign carried out by the military regime after the protests resulted in the imprisonment of thousands of citizens, including numerous monks and nuns. By the first week of October it was widely estimated that up to 6,000 persons, including at least 1,400 monks, had been arrested since the beginning of the protests.[1] Not counting the arrests made during the protests, there was an overall increase of at least 704 political prisoners in the year 2007, pushing the total number to 1,864..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Documentation Unit of the NCGUB (HRDU)
Format/size: html, pdf
Date of entry/update: 11 December 2008


Title: The Future in the Dark: The Massive Increase in Burma’s Political Prisoners
Date of publication: September 2008
Description/subject: Contents: (1) Introduction... (2) Current Arrests of Democracy Activists... (3) Current Imprisonments of Democracy Activists... (4) Current Trials of Democracy Activists: Trials of the 88 Generation Students group, Led by Min Ko Naing... Trials of Famous Comedian and Social Activist Zarganar... Trials of the Monks’ Leader U Gambira... Trials of Human Rights Defender U Myint Aye.. Trial of Labor Activist Su Su Nway... Other Trials..... (5) Prison Conditions... (6) Some Laws that the Military Junta Applies to Imprison Democracy Activists... (7) Conclusion.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma) and United States Campaign for Burma
Format/size: pdf (859K)
Date of entry/update: 05 February 2009


Title: Telling Dreadful Truths - a review of Karen Connelly's"The Lizard Cage"
Date of publication: August 2007
Description/subject: The Lizard Cage by Karen Connelly. Nan A Talese, 2007, pp448..... Karen Connelly’s novel of Burma brings a poet’s sensibilities to the dismal reality facing the country’s many prisoners of conscience... "We have few novels in English that attempt to capture the tedium and terror of life for Burma’s political prisoners; even fewer that do it as effectively as The Lizard Cage by Karen Connelly. In some respects, Connelly tells the story of all political prisoners in Burma—the capricious nature of convictions, the brutality and sadism of prison officials and the psychological torments that accompany life in the “lizard cage.” Connelly is an accomplished poet, and her lyricism breaks through the savagery of her subject matter in unexpected and compelling ways as she presents the journey of a songwriter, Teza, whose plunge into the dark and hopeless world of Burma’s prison life begins as it does for so many others with the democracy movement. But the novel has less to do with causes than effects, and the bulk of the narrative explores the confines of Teza’s solitary cell and the unanticipated threats to his physical and psychological well-being—from the external meddling of barbarous prison staff to the intense guilt that overcomes Teza as he compulsively hunts and eats the lizards in his prison cell..."
Author/creator: Kay Latt
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol 15, No. 8
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.irrawaddy.org/print_article.php?art_id=8044
Date of entry/update: 02 May 2008


Title: Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright
Date of publication: July 2007
Description/subject: After 18 Years Behind Bars, Journalist Win Tin’s Fiery Spirit is Far from Broken..."...I lived in the same cell block as Win Tin for four years, until I was transferred to another prison. He talked to me and other prisoners o­n every topic except his personal life and family, admitting o­nly that it was difficult to live alone. The news from outside that was so important to him never disclosed anything about any family members, although friends visited and engaged him in debate. He never asked any favor from anybody apart from news and books. If he was given a treat he gave it away to somebody more in need. o­nce, o­n my birthday, I asked him to let me wash his blanket. He refused, but I told him I wanted to perform a kuthoel (a good deed) o­n my birthday, and then he handed his blanket over. And it certainly needed washing! Win Tin told me he’d like to see me become a journalist, and he set about teaching me the trade. He entrusted me with completing his unfinished works. Whatever I achieve as a journalist I shall owe to him. His strict routine extends to his eating habits—just o­ne daily meal and some gruel in the evening. He has his preferences, though: sausages, fried eel and peanuts. But his teeth give him problems, and he can’t manage hard food. He has other health problems, which restrict what comfort he has in prison. He has to wear a neck collar because of a spinal problem and a hernia belt. Despite failing health and the rigors of life in o­ne of the world’s most notorious prisons, Win Tin’s spirit remains unbroken. He is truly a tiger—and will remain o­ne..."
Author/creator: Kay Latt
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 15, No. 7
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 May 2008


Title: Bullets and Bulldozers: The SPDC offensive continues in Toungoo District
Date of publication: 19 February 2007
Description/subject: "The first two months of 2007 have done nothing to lessen the intensity of attacks against the villagers of Toungoo District. SPDC forces continue to send in more troops and supplies, build new camps and upgrade older ones using forced village labour, convict porters and heavy machinery brought in for this purpose. Local villagers have been the ones to suffer from the increased military build-up and infrastructure 'development' as such programmes have put the SPDC in a stronger position to enforce their authority over civilians in rural areas and undermine the efforts of local peoples to evade military forces and maintain their livelihoods. Employing the new roadways and camps to shuttle troops and supplies deeper into areas beyond military control, SPDC forces continue to expand their reach in terms of extortion of funds, food and supplies; extraction of forced labour; and restriction of all civilian movement, travel and trade. These abuses have combined to exacerbate poverty, worsen the humanitarian situation and restrict the options of villagers living in these areas..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Report (KHRG #2007-F1)
Format/size: pdf (819 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2007/khrg07f1.html
Date of entry/update: 08 November 2009


Title: Less than Human: Convict Porters in the 2005 - 2006 Northern Karen State Offensive
Date of publication: 22 August 2006
Description/subject: "To support its military attacks on hill villages throughout northern Karen State since November 2005, Burma’s State Peace & Development Council (SPDC) military junta has brought several thousand convicts from prisons across Burma to carry ammunition and supplies and to act as human minesweepers. Many of these men are innocent of any crime, but were imprisoned because they were too poor to bribe police and judges who use their positions to extort money. The corruption continues with their jailers, who send them to the Army as porters if they are unable to pay. The SPDC relies increasingly on convict porters for its major military operations, both as a large-scale and accessible workforce to augment the forced labour of villagers and to legitimise its use of forced labour in the eyes of the international community. However, the use of convict porters in frontline operations is anything but legitimate: treated as property of the soldiers, worked to the point of exhaustion or death, beaten, tortured or murdered whenever they can no longer carry loads, underfed and given no treatment when sick or wounded, their treatment flagrantly violates Burma’s obligations under the Geneva Conventions and the ILO Forced Labour Convention. Right now SPDC troops in northern Karen State are leaving a trail of porters’ bodies behind them, while hundreds are attempting escape. This report is based on KHRG’s interviews with some of those who have escaped, whose stories reveal a system of endemic corruption and horrific brutality. Yet despite the presence of thousands of convict porters SPDC forces continue to recruit villagers for forced labour whenever possible, indicating that Burma’s ever-expanding Army is using convict labour as a supplement rather than an alternative to the forced labour of villagers..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2006-03)
Format/size: pdf (1.2MB), hrml
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2006/khrg0603.html
Date of entry/update: 06 October 2006


Title: Forced Relocation, Restrictions and Abuses in Nyaunglebin District
Date of publication: 10 July 2006
Description/subject: "This report presents information on ongoing abuses in Nyaunglebin (Kler Lweh Htoo) District, Karen State committed by SPDC forces during the period of March to May 2006. Attacks on hill villagers have continued as SPDC units seek to depopulate the hills and force all villagers to relocate to military-controlled villages in the plains and along roadways. However, those villagers living in SPDC-controlled areas are subject as well to continued abuses including arbitrary arrest and detention, extortion, restricted movement and forced labour..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Report (KHRG #2006-F6)
Format/size: pdf (645 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2006/khrg06f6.html
Date of entry/update: 09 November 2009


Title: Eight Seconds of Silence
Date of publication: 23 May 2006
Description/subject: Executive Summary: "After the 1988 people’s uprising in Burma, thousands of people were arrested and imprisoned. Nearly all have faced torture or ill-treatment at the hands of the authorities. Such torture and ill-treatment has resulted in death for many. The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners has documented the cases of 127 democracy activists who died after enduring torture or illtreatment in custody. Due to the political situation in Burma, all cases of death in custody are not known. Further, many details of the known cases cannot be collected. Information in this report concerning the political background and the circumstances of death for each democracy activist was taken from their families, the former political prisoners who met the deceased in prison, publications of political parties, human rights organizations and even the SPDC, and documents from the prison and medical staff of the prisons. Over the course of a year, all relevant information was gathered and verified. Of the at least 127 deaths, 90 have died in prison, 8 in the interrogation centers, 4 in the labor camps, and 10 shortly after being released from prison. 15 activists have disappeared from the prisons, and their whereabouts remain unknown to date. Since early 2005 alone, 9 democracy activists have died behind bars. The increased number of deaths in the past year is reflective of the rise in torture and ill-treatment. It is also indicative of the State Peace and Development Council’s (SPDC) policy. The SPDC is attempting to systematically silence political dissent in Burma. Torture and ill-treatment of political prisoners is one means by which they implement their policy. Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma) 18 This report looks at Burma’s interrogation centers, prisons and labor camps to explain the cause of death for those who have passed away while detained by the military regime. Torture and ill-treatment are endemic in these locations. The general prison conditions and prison healthcare system are aggravated and cause a level of suffering equivalent to torture in the majority of political prisoners’ cases. The disappearance of political prisoners has occurred in fifteen documented cases, though there are likely several undocumented cases. A section of the report details the known cases of disappearance, and explains the regime’s frequent withholding of information on a political prisoners’ location in order to terrorize their families. After release from prison, several political prisoners face physical and mental illnesses for which they are unable to receive treatment. The lack of treatment is due to varying factors, but primary among them is the lack of money and general knowledge about the health concerns of political prisoners. Several political prisoners have died from the inability to treat a basic illness. Further, the mental health care system in Burma is virtually non-existent, leaving former political prisoners with no means of relieving their mental suffering. Some political prisoners have committed suicide as a result. This report looks at the circumstances surrounding the deaths of those political prisoners who died shortly after release. When political prisoners die, their families face many problems. The families of deceased political prisoners have often been informed of their loved ones death only after the authorities have cremated the body, so that any evidence of torture or ill treatment is destroyed. Additionally, the authorities are known to have pressured doctors into falsifying the results of their autopsy. Though most do not, if a family attempts to challenge the authorities’ explanation for their loved ones death, they have no independent witnesses to verify their claims one way or the other. Eight Seconds of Silence: The Death of Democracy Activists Behind Bars 19 The families of political prisoners have on some occasions been offered bribes to remain silent as to the cause of their loved ones death. Most reject the bribe, and a few have defiantly spoken about the real cause of their loved one’s death. Further, families of deceased political prisoners often must bury their loved ones according to the direction of the authorities. Intelligence personnel often infiltrate funerals, noting which people attend so that they can later be detained and interrogated. The aftermath of political prisoners’ deaths is explained in this report. Finally, this report provides detailed information on the political background and death of nearly all documented cases of death in custody. These brief biographies are meant to demonstrate the brutality of the authorities and the innocence of the victims. Though in a number of the cases of death in custody, the authorities responsible for the individuals’ death are known, no action has ever been taken to hold them accountable. 127 democracy activists have been killed with complete impunity. Currently, there are at least 1,156 political prisoners in Burma. Several are in poor and rapidly deteriorating health, and many are at risk for torture. If they are not released immediately, they will face the same fate as those who have died in custody..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma)
Format/size: pdf (1.1MB)
Date of entry/update: 22 May 2006


Title: Art in Captivity
Date of publication: May 2006
Description/subject: Burma’s political prisoners find some measure of freedom in jail through resourceful self-expression
Author/creator: Yeni
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 14, No. 5
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 28 December 2006


Title: Myanmar: Travesties of Justice – Continued Misuse of the legal system
Date of publication: 12 December 2005
Description/subject: "Despite releases of political prisoners in July 2005, Amnesty International remains concerned that the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) have continued to abuse the justice system to silence peaceful dissent. This misuse denies the rule of law and the enjoyment of basic political freedoms in the country, and human rights in Myanmar generally. People continue to be arrested and imprisoned in Myanmar solely on account of their peaceful exercise of the rights to freedom of expression, association, assembly and movement. In a welcome move in July 2005 the authorities released more than 260 political prisoners. However, in the last 12 months they have arrested or sentenced at least 60 individuals for political reasons. Since July 2005, the authorities have penalized senior political figures with extraordinarily long prison sentences in secret trials; held individuals incommunicado, and prosecuted persons attempting to report on human rights violations. Arrests and harassment of members and activists of registered political parties are continuing. On 27 November 2005 the SPDC renewed the detention of opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, without charge or trial, for a further six months. The continued use of detention to remove from the political process both senior political leaders and those petitioning for their release, is presenting a significant obstacle to resolving the political deadlock in the country. Amnesty International renews longstanding calls by Myanmar citizens and members of the international community on the SPDC to immediately and unconditionally release all prisoners of conscience. The organization also calls on the Myanmar authorities to implement reform of judicial procedures and laws to uphold and protect human rights. The authorities must also eradicate torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. The organization also urges that discriminatory laws on citizenship and stringent travel restrictions are amended in order to end discrimination against the Rohingya ethnic group. Amnesty International has long-standing concerns at the lack of judicial independence in Myanmar that has enabled the state to imprison political opponents. Furthermore the organization has repeatedly expressed concern to the authorities about the abuse of due process in political trials, and the denial of basic rights in detention. Individuals are routinely arrested without warrant; held incommunicado and tortured or ill-treated in pre-trial detention. Sentences have been handed down following trials which fall far short of international fair trial standards. For example defendants have been denied the right to legal counsel or to legal counsel of their own choice. Prosecutors have also relied on confessions extracted through torture. Prison conditions continue to be poor, and prisoners are being denied adequate nutrition and necessary medical treatment. This document updates earlier reports listing prisoners of concern to Amnesty International issued in June 2005,(1) December 2004,(2) and April 2001,(3) and reiterates long-standing concerns on the administration of justice(4) in the country, and the treatment of more than 1160 political prisoners. A list of prisoners of conscience and possible prisoners of conscience follows this introduction. Other sources estimate that the figure of political prisoners may be significantly higher. Amnesty International has gathered information on the situation of political prisoners in Myanmar from a variety of sources, including private individuals, members of political parties, official and opposition news media, and from visits to Myanmar and neighbouring countries. With the exception of press reports Amnesty International has omitted identifying details about individual or organizational sources for reasons of their security..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Amnesty International (ASA 16/029/2005)
Format/size: html, pdf
Alternate URLs: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA16/029/2005/en/7c836591-d479-11dd-8743-d305bea2b2c7/asa1...
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA16/029/2005/en/76923ebc-d479-11dd-8743-d305bea2b2c7/asa1...
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA16/029/2005
Date of entry/update: 19 November 2010


Title: The Darkness We See: Torture in Burma's Interrogation Centers and Prisons
Date of publication: 01 December 2005
Description/subject: "Midnight. You hear many people pounding away at your door, demanding you open up. You make one last-ditch effort to hide the incriminating evidence, though you know they are only documents calling for democracy in your country. They pose no threat to anyone, except the brutal minds of your captors. You tell your family to remain calm; everything will be OK. Your heart is pounding, your mind racing. You open the door slightly and the authorities push their way into your home, overturning everything and demanding you come with them. They show no warrant; there is no need for legal matters when the authorities decide to take you away. You are hooded and handcuffed; now you must rely entirely on your captors. You are made to lie down in the back of a van, a gun held at your back. As the van moves along, you pray the gun will not accidentally go off. You are not told where you are going, and there is no point in asking. Suddenly, the van stops and you hear the cruel voices of your captors ordering you to get out, to jump, to duck, to twist, to turn, all for their amusement. You are taken to a small room where the torture begins. You are stripped naked and are beaten until you lose consciousness. You are awakened when your captors drench you with a bucket of water. The beatings begin again. This time a rod is run up and down your shins until you scream out in agony as your flesh peals off. Your captors are laughing and threatening to kill you and your family. You remain hooded and handcuffed, unable to defend yourself or move away. You are humiliated, made to pretend you are riding motorcycles and airplanes. You sit and stand continuously until you are exhausted, all the while being beaten. You are forced to hold unnatural positions for extended periods of time until you collapse. You are denied food, water, sleep and must beg to use the toilet. You are degraded, bruised and battered. Your entire existence is reduced to the struggle to survive. Finally, the torture stops and again you are hooded and taken to prison, which will be your home for the next seven years or more. So far, you have not been allowed to see your family or a lawyer, and you have no idea when you will be sentenced. You are placed in a cell with five of your colleagues, two criminals and several rats. You are given undercooked and dirty food to eat. You sleep on the cold concrete. Your toilet is a small pot which overflows, creating maggots and a foul, nauseating smell. You are allowed seven plates of water to wash your self. You have nothing to read, no mental stimulation. Your cell is so dark and damp that reading materials would not much matter. You are finally brought to court where you have a five minute trial. Your sentence is read out; you have no opportunity to defend yourself. You are taken back to prison; the conditions are the same. You become ill, but are not allowed to see a doctor. Your condition worsens; still, no doctor, no medication. You must wait until your next family visit to receive medication. You have been placed in a prison hundreds of miles away from your family’s home. By the time they visit, you are no longer ill. You have managed to ride out your illness. Your other colleagues are not so lucky. The years pass. One day you are told you will be released. You are prepared to go, standing at the gate, in site of your family, when the authorities re-arrest you. You will be held five more years, though they do not charge you or put you on trial. You want to complain, but fear the torture that would ensue. You are finally released. You arrive home to find your mother has died while you were imprisoned. Your spouse has married another person. Your children struggle to remember you. You try to find work or restart your education, anything to regain the identity that was stolen from you when you were tortured and imprisoned. You cannot find employment, the universities turn you away. The Military Intelligence follows you and your family. You fear being re-arrested. You become depressed and feel marginalized. Your old friends no longer want to associate with you. You are misunderstood, but how can you explain yourself? You decide there is no future for you in your own country. You flee in the dark of night to an uncertain future. You are a political prisoner from Burma..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma)
Format/size: pdf (662K)
Date of entry/update: 01 December 2005


Title: The Real Reason Behind Prisoner Releases
Date of publication: July 2005
Description/subject: On the face of it, the release of prisoners in Burma sounds good. But the ruling generals are probably just trying to improve their image... "On July 6, Burma’s junta surprised the world by releasing as many as 400 prisoners—many of them political. Among those pleasantly surprised was UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, who issued a statement welcoming the release. London-based Amnesty International were also happy, but urged that the remaining estimated 1,100 political prisoners should also be freed—including detained democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi. Likewise, four days later US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, visiting neighboring Thailand, called for continuing international pressure for Suu Kyi’s unconditional release..."
Author/creator: Aung Zaw
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 7
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 30 April 2006


Title: Myanmar: Myanmar’s Political Prisoners: A Growing Legacy of Injustice
Date of publication: 16 June 2005
Description/subject: "Amnesty International is concerned that prisoners of conscience continue to be arrested and imprisoned in Myanmar solely on account of their peaceful exercise of the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly. They are a human legacy of authorities’ long-standing misuse of the justice system as a tool of political repression, and a means to restrict rather than protect the peaceful exercise of basic human rights. The State Peace and Development Council continues to abuse the justice system, impede the rule of law and the enjoyment of basic political freedoms in the country, and human rights in Myanmar generally. A list of prisoners of conscience and possible prisoners of conscience follows this introduction. This report updates earlier reports listing prisoners of concern to Amnesty International in December 2004 and April 2001, and reiterates the organization’s long-standing concerns on the administration of justice[3] in the country, and the treatment of more than 1,350 political prisoners who have been sentenced for political offences. Amnesty International is also concerned that arrests and harassment of members and activists of registered political parties are increasing the numbers of people wrongfully deprived their liberty, solely on the basis of their peaceful political activities. Authorities are reported to have threatened individuals in 2005 that should they engage in politics they may face long terms of imprisonment. The SPDC has failed to release prominent political prisoners, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi General Secretary of the National League for Democracy and U Tin Oo, vice Chairman of the National League for Democracy. They have been detained without charge or trial since they and other NLD members were subjected to a violent government-sponsored attack on 30 May 2003[4]. They, like many of the other prisoners of conscience currently imprisoned, have been in and out of detention or prison for political reasons since 1989. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who turns 60 on 19 June 2005, will have spent 60 % of her time since 1989 under house arrest or in other forms of detention without charge or trial. Amnesty International renews longstanding calls by Myanmar citizens, other governments and the United Nations on the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) to immediately and unconditionally release all prisoners of conscience. The organization is also calling on authorities to take non-reversible steps to provide for the long term protection of the justice system against future abuse by putting an end to illegal practises such as torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment; incommunicado detention; the use of laws which excessively restrict the peaceful exercise of rights; secret trials and administrative detention. Myanmar’s political prisoners have been held hostage by the SPDC, thus perpetuating the political deadlock that has existed in the country since at least 1988. Many are elderly, and many have chronic mental and physical health problems that have been created or exacerbated by their treatment in prison, in contravention of international law and standards. Many have been imprisoned or repeatedly arrested for over a decade. The continued use of detention to remove senior political leaders from the political process, and those petitioning for their release, is presenting a significant obstacle to resolving the political deadlock in the country..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Amnesty International (ASA 16/019/2005)
Format/size: html (903K), pdf (617K - no photos) 142 pages
Alternate URLs: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA16/019/2005/en/292188a3-d4dc-11dd-8a23-d58a49c0d652/asa1...
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA16/019/2005/en/3411d417-d4dc-11dd-8a23-d58a49c0d652/asa1...
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA16/019/2005/en
Date of entry/update: 19 November 2010


Title: Prisoners forced to work on road construction in Arakan
Date of publication: 10 June 2005
Description/subject: Kyauk Pru, 10th June 2005: "About 300 prisoners have been forced to work by Burmese authorities on the construction of the Rangoon-Kyauk Pru road. They have been working on the road since the beginning of this summer, said a monk living in the area. The work site is located near Paday Kyung village in Kyauk Pru Township, a district of Rambree Island in Arakan state. One platoon of the Burmese army, Light Infantry Battalion 34, is strictly guarding the prisoners. The prisoners typically work at the road construction site at least 12 hours a day, in two shifts. The first work shift is from 6 am to 12 pm, the second shift is from 1 pm to 6 pm, the monk said..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Narinjara News
Format/size: html (10K)
Date of entry/update: 09 July 2005


Title: Myanmar: Imprisoned for telling the truth about human rights
Date of publication: 01 March 2005
Description/subject: "Freedom of Expression on Trial in Insein Prison A group of political prisoners in Insein Prison, the largest prison in Myanmar, were given additional sentences in 1996, while still imprisoned. The authorities sentenced them for attempting to send information about human rights violations to the United Nations and circulating news and writing in prison. They received at least seven further years’ imprisonment in an unfair trial, under a law which effectively criminalizes freedom of expression and opinion, by making it an offence to circulate, or intend to circulate “false news”. More than 20 persons were given additional prison terms. Nine are still imprisoned..."
Language: Englsh
Source/publisher: Amnsty International USA (ASA 16/011/2005)
Format/size: html, pdf
Date of entry/update: 19 November 2010


Title: On the Run - an army porter’s story of brutality and murder
Date of publication: March 2005
Description/subject: "When the Burmese army hauled Naing Myint out of prison and forced him to become an ammunition porter on the frontline they actually did him a favor, opening the door to freedom. Naing Myint, a long-term prisoner, spent just two days humping ammunition before making a run for it..."
Author/creator: Shah Paung
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 3
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 August 2005


Title: Myanmar:- Facing Political Imprisonment: Prisoners of concern to Amnesty International
Date of publication: 01 December 2004
Description/subject: "This document reports on prisoners of conscience, detained in Myanmar solely on account of their peaceful exercise of the right to freedom of association, expression and assembly. It also provides details of prisoners whom Amnesty International believes may be prisoners of conscience, and of political prisoners who are being detained without charge or trial. It names more than 200 individuals imprisoned between 1989 and 2004, who are among more than 1,300 political prisoners who have been imprisoned after unfair trials. Among those imprisoned are the elderly and infirm, individuals with chronic mental and physical health problems made worse by their treatment in detention, and persons who were juveniles at the time of their arrest and have been held in prison with adults..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Amnesty International
Format/size: html (547K), pdf (1.1MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA16/007/2004/en/b7590464-d55a-11dd-bb24-1fb85fe8fa05/asa1...
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA16/007/2004
Date of entry/update: 19 November 2010


Title: Burma: A Land Where Buddhist Monks Are Disrobed and Detained in Dungeons
Date of publication: November 2004
Description/subject: Executive Summary: "In Burma, anyone can be detained for being involved in human rights advocacy, democratic activities or peaceful demonstrations. Thus, political activists are not the only stratum of society vulnerable to arrest by the military intelligence, Buddhist monks are also subject to the same fate. It is estimated that there are approximately 300 monks and novices in Burma’s prisons, whereas the number of political prisoners lingers at about 1400 to date. Since the pro-democracy uprising occurred in 1988, the military regime has constantly attempted to crackdown on all strata of society including Buddhist monks who are assumed to be potentially significant revolutionary forces. During the demonstrations that occurred in August and September 1988, the regime killed masses of peaceful demonstrators including monks, students and civilians. Although Buddhist monks have been involved in the movement by non-violent means, they have not been excluded from arrest and imprisonment. Since there is no rule of law but only ‘law and order’ in Burma, all arrests come without a warrant and the victims face brutal interrogations at military detention centers. Almost all the lawsuits concerning such arrests have been tried secretly without granting the accused any rights to seek legal counsel. Trials have been perfunctory; the so-called judges just read out the charges. While the accused is asked to plead guilty or not, the court announces its verdict which has invariably been one of guilt. Most of the monks, including novices, that were arrested were charged under Section 5 (J) of the Emergency Provisions Act which is a widely worded law that has been used to suppress dissent even in the absence of a proclaimed ‘State of Emergency’. Some monks were charged under Article 295 of the Penal Code which describe the charge as ‘of offenses relating to religion’. Aside from these Acts, Buddhist monks are vulnerable to arrest and charge under other Acts described in the Penal Code. In October 1990, immediately after the monks boycott of the regime began, the regime created ‘ The Law Concerning the Sangha Organizations’ or Sangha Organization Law, an intrusion of the state in Sangha affairs. Subsequently, more than 200 monks and novices were found to be guilty of contravening these rules and regulations and were stripped of their monkhood that year. Since the ‘Sangha Organization Law’ describes all nine Sangha Sects as members of the State Sangha Organization, every monk, or member of Sangha, has no alternative but to abide by all the rules and regulations pronounced by the regime. In brief, all the orders and decrees the military regime has issued are designed to keep monks under tight control and thwart them from being involved in any social movements. According to Buddhist principles, disrobing a monk forcibly cannot alter him into an ordinary laymen unless he himself chooses to be. Many monks who were arrested and imprisoned adhered to the principles of monkhood and never assumed that they had become laymen because they were disrobed. However, the authorities concerned in Burma, particularly those in military interrogation camps and inside prisons, treated the disrobed monks inhumanely as they considered the monks to be common criminals as they were no longer in their robes. This report attempts to reveal some of the most offensive incidents perpetrated by a military regime, which is pretending to be the most pious government to ever rule in modern Burmese history. It should be noted that the data and information included in this report is only a sampling of incidents from a decade of arrests as the researchers faced difficulties in obtaining information from inside sources. However, the reliability of the information included in this report is unarguable. This report serves to voice previously unheard voices that have been suppressed since these episodes transpired in Burma. Through the publication of this report, we hope to provide an opportunity for these voices to be heard."... CONTENTS: Acknowledgements; Executive Summary; Recommendations; Introduction; Background History; Buddhist Monks and Burmese Society; Buddhist Monks under the BSPP Regime; Buddhist Monks under the SLORC Regime; Overturning the Bowls; SLORC’s Response to the Monks’ Boycott; Disrobing; Torture and Abuses in Prison and Prison Labor Camp; The Regime’s Image as a Pious Ruler; Recent Arrests of Monks in 2003 for “Overturning the Bowl”... APPENDICES: Appendix 1-a - Photos and List of 26 Monks Arrested from Mahar Ghandaryone Monastery in 2003 for “Overturning the Bowl”;; Appendix 1-b - Photos of Monks Who Have Been Released; Appendix 2 - Sangha Organization Law; (as the SLORC issued on October 31, 1990); Appendix 3 - Analysis of the SPDC’s Sangha Organization Law by Burma Lawyers’ Council; Appendix 4 - Pattam Nikkujjana Kamma (or) “Overturning the Bowl”; Appendix 5 - Entreaty to All Monks and People- by Young Monks’ League (Lower Burma) and League of Monks’ Union from 4 Sides (Mandalay); Appendix 6 - Firsthand Account of a Monk Who Was Imprisoned for Involvement in the Monk Boycott; Appendix 7 - Firsthand Account of a Monk Who Was Imprisoned and Sent to Prison Labor Camp; Appendix 8 - Firsthand Account of a Monk Who Was Involved in the Monk Boycott and Evaded Arrest; Appendix 9 - Firsthand Experience of a Former Political Prisoner who Observed Monks Who Were Taken to Myitkyina Prison and Forced Labor Camps; Appendix 10 - Radio Interview with the Abbot of New Masoeyein Monastery, Mandalay; Appendix 11 - Radio Interview with a Buddhist Monk Regarding the Arrests of Monks; Appendix 12 - Interview with an Eyewitness about the Kyaukse Riot; Appendix 13 - Account of a Monk Regarding the Mahar Ghandaryone Monk Boycott; Appendix 14 - Relationship between Monks and the SPDC (An excerpt from a radio interview with monks inside Burma); Appendix 15 - (Article) Sons of Buddha in Prison by Naing Kyaw; Appendix 16 - (Article) Imprisoned Monks-I by Win Naing Oo; Appendix 17 - (Article) Imprisoned Monks-II by Win Naing Oo; Appendix 18 - (Article) Imprisoned Monks-III by Win Naing Oo... LISTS: Partial List of Monks Who Died in Prisons and Forced Labor Camps; Partial List of Monks Who Are Currently in Prison; Acronyms, Glossary and Bibliography.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma) - AAPP
Format/size: pdf (706K)
Date of entry/update: 12 November 2004


Title: Women Political Prisoners in Burma
Date of publication: 07 October 2004
Description/subject: " Two organizations, based on the Thai-Burma border, have released an English version of a report on women political prisoners in Burma. The Burmese Women's Union (BWU) and the AAPP have worked jointly on the English version of the report and released the Burmese version in February 2004. At least 1,425 political prisoners are behind bars because of their connections with democratic movements in Burma. Nearly one hundred of these are women, including the Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi. The 200 page report, entitled "Women Political Prisoners in Burma," expresses the history of women in politics. The report covers common experiences of women in prisons and military intelligence detention centers, food and health conditions in prisons, and torture and human rights violations by prison authorities. The report also focuses upon conditions of prisoners after release, the SPDC’s Women’s Affair Committee, and movements of the SPDC relating to the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). There are testimonies and data regarding 19 former women detainees, and photographs of current and former women political prisoners. The AAPP and the BWU conclude by making some suggestions and demands for change to the SPDC. Tate Naing, secretary of the AAPP, releasing the report today said, "We want the people in Burma and international organizations to know that several women are in Burmese prisons because of their activities in the democracy movement. The report mentions not only their experiences, but also how they bravely struggled through the many difficulties in the prisons." ... - Forward; - Introduction; - History of Women in Politics; - Arrest and Imprisonment; - Sexual Harassment; - Judgment under the Military Government; - Torture and Ill Treatment; - Health; - Food; - Reproductive Health; - Reading in Prison; - Family Visits; - Survival; - Conditions after Release; - Terrorist Attack on May 30, 2003; - The Regime’s Women’s Affairs Committee; - The Regime Neglects the Agreements of CEDAW and Other Conventions on Women; - Demands to the Military Government in Burma; - Endnotes... - Appendices: (1) Aye Aye Khaing; (2) Aye Aye Moe; (3) Aye Aye Thin; (4) Aye Aye Win (Daw); (5) Hla Hla Htwe; (6) Kaythi Aye; (7) Khin Mar Kyi (Dr); (8) Khin San Nwe (Daw); (9) Kyu Kyu Mar (Daw); (10) Myat Mo Mo Tun; (11) Myat Sapal Moe; (12) San San (Daw); (13) San San Nwe (Tharawaddy); (14) Than Kywe (Daw); (15) Thi Thi Aung; (16) Thida Aye; (17) Yee Yee Htun; (18) Yin Yin May (Daw); (19) Yu Yu Hlaing.
Language: English, Burmese
Source/publisher: Burmese Women's Union (BWU), Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma) - AAPP
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.aappb.net/joint_report.html
Date of entry/update: 07 October 2004


Title: Partial List of Political Prisoner's health in Burmese Prisons
Date of publication: 05 October 2004
Description/subject: Details, including health status, of 102 political prisoners in Burma.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Assistance Association for Political Prisoners ( Burma) - AAPP
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 07 October 2004


Title: Myanmar: The Administration of Justice - Grave and Abiding Concerns
Date of publication: 01 April 2004
Description/subject: "... Amnesty International's widespread concerns about political imprisonment in Myanmar have been reinforced and heightened as a result of information obtained during its December 2003 visit to the country. Arbitrary arrests; torture and ill-treatment during incommunicado detention; unfair trials; and laws which greatly curtail the rights to freedom of expression and assembly continue as major obstacles to the improvement in the SPDC's human rights record. In the run-up to the reconvening of the National Convention, Amnesty International renews its calls to the SPDC to: 1. release all prisoners of conscience immediately and unconditionally. 2. seriously consider a general amnesty for all political prisoners. 3. stop arresting people solely for the peaceful exercise of their rights to freedom of expression and assembly. 4. in the absence of a legislature, initiate a moratorium on the use of laws restricting the rights to freedom of expression and assembly, particularly the 1950 Emergency Provisions Law; the 1975 State Protection Law; the 1962 Printers and Publishers Law and the 1908 Illegal Associations Law. 5. repeal Law No 5/96, the provisions of which allow for up to 20 years' imprisonment of anyone who drafts a constitution without official permission and otherwise criminalizes the right to freedom of expression and assembly. 6. instruct the police force, including Special Branch officers, and Military Intelligence personnel not to hold detainees in incommunicado detention, a practice which facilitates torture. 7. issue clear orders to all members of the security forces not to torture or otherwise ill-treat detainees. 8. initiate prompt, effective, independent, and impartial investigations into all serious allegations of torture or ill-treatment. 9. bring to justice those found responsible, under internationally agreed standards of fair trial. 10. ensure that international fair trial standards are upheld in political cases, including the right to legal counsel, the right to presumption of innocence, the right to a public trial, the right to defend oneself, and the right to adequate time and resources to prepare a defence. 11. accede to international human rights treaties, in particular the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment; and the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Amnesty International USA (ASA 16/001/2004)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 19 November 2010


Title: The Junta's Deception
Date of publication: April 2004
Description/subject: "The political prisoners released since October are only a fraction of the estimated 1,800 still languishing in Burma's prisons. Exiled Burmese once welcomed news of the secret talks that began in October between Burma's ruling State Peace and Development Council and Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the National League for Democracy. But because nothing has been disclosed about the agenda or progress of the talks, many exiles now doubt the discussions will lead to any kind of imminent political breakthrough. Their skepticism is justified..."...
Author/creator: Aung Zaw
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" (Commentary)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Burma Human Rights Yearbook 2002-03: Arbitrary Detention and Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances
Date of publication: October 2003
Description/subject: "Throughout 2002, SPDC personnel continued to arbitrarily detain persons across Burma for illegal association with groups seen as anti-government. In the aftermath of the ‘global war on terror,’ the SPDC began to structure its anti-opposition activity within the framework of countering terrorist organizations. In areas of ethnic insurgency, these detentions were common and in most cases individuals suspected of such illegal association were seized, detained, interrogated, and sometimes tortured and killed without warrant or evidence against them. In 2002, there were also numerous reports of individuals who disappeared following arrest and detention, many of whom are feared dead. Human rights organizations, such as the Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG), have argued that the current definition of ‘political prisoner’ used in the context of Burma is too narrow and excludes the thousands of ethnic minority villagers who are routinely arrested, tortured, and imprisoned under Articles 17/1 (contact with illegal organizations) and Article 17/2 (rising against the State)..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Documentation Unit of the NCGUB
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 10 November 2003


Title: Extracts and findings from "Uncounted: political prisoners in burma’s ethnic areas"
Date of publication: October 2003
Description/subject: "The following is an extract from a report released by Burma Issues and Altsean-Burma, Uncounted: political prisoners in burma’s ethnic areas. The following extract focuses on the arbitrary nature of the detention of political prisoners in Burma’s ethnic areas and the unconventional centres in which they are normally detained, namely army bases and village structures..." arbitrary detention
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Burma Issues"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 28 December 2003


Title: Arbitrary and unconventional detention in Burma
Date of publication: August 2003
Description/subject: "...In remote areas of Burma, places of detention are unconventional and access to detainees for information and monitoring of their treatment is very limited. Unlike the central regions, prisoners are usually not subject to any type of legal process and are not charged under any type of law. Often detention is not prolonged, making it difficult for the international community to take a course of action such as campaigning for the release of the prisoner. The government of Burma rules through a severely compromised legal system that defies international law and standards on civil freedoms and human rights. Yet people in Burma¡¦s conflict areas are not even given the option of this deficient and archaic legal system. Here, the military rules entirely without accountability, adequate policing and trial procedures. In every respect, treatment during arrest and while under detention violates both domestic and international regulations..."...This article was compiled using material from a report issued by Burma Issues and Altsean-Burma, Uncounted: Political prisoner¡¦s in Burma¡¦s ethnic areas, August 2003.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Issues & Altsean-Burma via "Article 2"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 12 March 2004


Title: Uncounted: political prisoners in burma's ethnic areas
Date of publication: August 2003
Description/subject: Contents: 1. Executive Summary; 2. Introduction; 2a. Scope of report; 3. Background; 4. Definitions and Regulations; 4a. What is a political prisoner?; 4b. International and domestic regulations governing treatment; 4c. Conflict zones; 4d. Cease-fire and "Pacified Areas"; 4e. Support and perceived support for armed groups; 5. Politically Motivated Detentions in the Conflict Zones; 5a. Accusations; 5b. Places of detention; 5c. Were charges laid?; 6. Treatment of Detainees and Outcomes of Detention; 6a. Arbitrary detention; 6b. Torture; 6c. Extrajudicial killings; 6d. Disappearances; 7. Political Motivations Behind Detentions; 7a. Weakening/destruction of the People's Movement; 7b. Power and absolute control; 7c. Eradication of armed forces; 7d. Other motivations; 7e. Secondary Effects; 8. Inclusion in Existing Reporting; 9. The Bigger Picture; 10. Conclusion; 11. Recommendations... 12. Appendixes: a. Summary of cases; b. Ethnic Armed and political groups; c. Relevant international laws and regulations; 13. Glossary; Map of Burma; Map of Locations of Detention... Executive Summary: In Mr Paulo Sergio Pinheiro's report to the 59th Commission on Human Rights he stated, "Political arrests since July 2002 have followed the pattern of un-rule of law, including arbitrary arrest, prolonged incommunicado detention and interrogation by military intelligence personnel, extraction of confessions of guilt or of information, very often under duress or torture, followed by summary trials, sentencing and imprisonment." This report presents a sample of 46 cases that comply with the description in Pinheiro's statement but remain unrecognised as political arrests. They are people mostly in Burma's ethnic areas detained on accusations of supporting non-Burman ethnic nationality opposition groups. The accusations range from offering support through food and accommodation, to knowledge of opposition group movements, to actually being a member of a non-Burman ethnic nationality opposition group..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Burma Issues", Altsean-Burma
Format/size: pdf (796K) 82 pages
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmaissues.org/En/reports/uncounted.pdf
Date of entry/update: 21 September 2003


Title: Myanmar: Justice on Trial
Date of publication: 30 July 2003
Description/subject: "On 22 May 2003 Amnesty International submitted a 29-page memorandum to the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC, Myanmar's military government), in order to provide the SPDC with the opportunity to comment on and to clarify various issues about the administration of justice raised in the document. The Memorandum reflected the organization's findings during its first visit to the country from 30 January to 8 February 2003, and drew on its institutional knowledge and expertise about both international human rights standards and human rights in Myanmar. The text of the original Memorandum has now been updated to reflect comments from the SPDC, which were received by Amnesty International on 9 July 2003. The updated Memorandum forms the text of this document, along with a summary of the current human rights situation in Myanmar... Since the submission of the Memorandum to the SPDC on 22 May, political tensions escalated sharply during a National League for Democracy (NLD) tour of Upper Myanmar, culminating in a violent attack on NLD leaders on 30 May. What follows below is a summary of both the attack and the subsequent deterioration in the human rights situation in Myanmar. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, NLD General Secretary, U Tin Oo, NLD Vice Chairman, and other NLD members had been travelling in Upper Myanmar, with the prior permission of the SPDC, during the month of May. As larger and larger crowds gathered to see the NLD leaders, tension increased between the NLD and the Union Solidarity Development Association (USDA), an organization established, organized, and supported by the SPDC.(1) NLD members and supporters were reportedly harassed, intimidated, and threatened by USDA members in various locations as they attempted to conduct their legitimate political party activities, including giving speeches and opening local NLD offices. However the SPDC reportedly did very little to diffuse tensions between the USDA and the NLD. While Amnesty International acknowledges the universal right to peacefully assemble and conduct protest demonstrations, the actions of the USDA went beyond such non-violent expressions of dissent. .."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Amnesty International
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA16/019/2003
http://www.amnestyusa.org/document.php?id=E8E42C86A0BF5F7980256D72004704AB&lang=e
Date of entry/update: 19 November 2010


Title: Preliminary Report of the Ad hoc Commission on Depayin Massacre
Date of publication: 04 July 2003
Description/subject: "The National Council of the Union of Burma and the Burma Lawyers' Council have formed a commission on June 25, 2003 to jointly deal with the alleged assassination attempt against the leaders of the National League for Democracy, including Nobel Peace Laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, with the following programmes: The Title of the Commission - The commission will be entitled as the Ad hoc Commission on Depayin Massacre (Burma). Aim - (1) To find out the truth on the Depayin Massacre; (2) To facilitate the struggle of people, based on legal affairs, both inside Burma and in the international community, in connection with the Depayin Massacre; Programme Objectives - (1) To exert efforts to lodge a complaint with the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the event that it has jurisdiction over the Depayin Massacre case; (2) To lodge a complaint or complaints with other courts in the international community including the International Criminal Tribunal to be possibly established by the United Nations Security Council if the first objective is not possible; (3) To cooperate with the people inside Burma and the international community for the emergence of an official independent investigation commission in order to find out the truth on Depayin Massacre... Contents: ... Formation of Ad hoc Commission on Depayin Massacrr; Explanatory Statement of the Ad hoc Commission; Brief Background of Depayin Massacre; Depayin Massacre; Affidavits of the Eyewitnesses; SPDC’s Press Conference; Victims of Depayin Massacre (Pictures); Appendix I - Interview with Zaw Zaw Aung 50; Appendix II - Statement of Ko Aung Aung from Democratic Party for a New Society; Appendix III - The list of the vitims of Depayin Massacre.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Ad hoc Commission on Depayin Massacre
Format/size: pdf (1.2MB) 58 pages
Date of entry/update: 17 July 2003


Title: In Balmy Burma, The Plot Sickens
Date of publication: June 2003
Description/subject: By The Irrawaddy "The regime in Rangoon has proven the naysayers right once again. The May 30 clash in Upper Burma, and the crackdown that followed, should remind the junta’s apologists and other optimists hoping for a happy ending to the country’s political drama that national reconciliation in Burma is a long, long way away. The events on Black Friday demonstrate clearly it’s time for the international community to take action against Burma. Failing to act ignores the suffering of the Burmese people and acknowledges the junta’s ultimate victory—a triumph scored by attrition rather than a knockout blow. The script is familiar. Suu Kyi is detained by the regime. Advocates for democracy in Burma call for her release. The generals hold firm, defying international condemnation, then give in a little. Suu Kyi is finally freed and the world applauds. International opinion is successfully manipulated. Asean, Japan and some nations in the West express appreciation for the concession and begin speaking of the junta’s democratic will. Rangoon’s victory is rewarded with more trade and more aid. Meanwhile, the opposition remains stonewalled..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 11, No. 5
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 18 September 2003


Title: Red Cross, Red Card
Date of publication: June 2003
Description/subject: "The International Committee for the Red Cross says there has been a "marked improvement" in conditions for political prisoners inside Burmese jails. But who are they trying to kid?..."
Author/creator: Bo Kyi
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 11, No. 5
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 18 September 2003


Title: Between Holidays and Hell: Prison life in Burma has not always been nasty and brutish
Date of publication: May 2003
Description/subject: "When U Hla arrived at Mingaladon Airport in February 1954, about 200 well-wishers greeted him with garlands and flowers. The respected journalist and renowned pubic figure had just traveled from his home in Mandalay to Rangoon, where he faced charges for political offenses. U Hla refused to ride in the waiting prison van. Bowing to his request, red-faced police officers immediately arranged for a taxi instead. No, this is not fiction..." While facing charges, U Hla, better known as Ludu U Hla, joined the other political prisoners in a Rangoon jail. They were all guests of U Nu’s Anti-Fascist People’s Freedom League (AFPFL). Life in prison was not so bad.
Author/creator: Aung Zaw
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 11, No. 4
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 02 July 2003


Title: Burmese Whispers
Date of publication: May 2003
Description/subject: "The war in Iraq once again has the Burmese chattering classes speculating about outside intervention. But as in 1988, more pressing geo-political concerns serve as a distraction from the country’s internal misery...If the recent military interventions in the Middle East have again triggered Burmese whispers that outside help is coming, just as in 1988 there will be disappointment. For ordinary Burmese, the significance of the overthrow of the Taliban and Saddam is not that something similar might occur in their own country. It is that the junta is once again exploiting a major international distraction as cover for political inertia at home. Yet another opportunity for a discreet domestic settlement is being squandered..." The article also covers recent Burmese history, including 1988 and Min Ko Naing.
Author/creator: Dominic Faulder
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 11, No. 4
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 02 July 2003


Title: Burma Human Rights Yearbook 2001-2002: Arbitrary Detention and Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances
Date of publication: September 2002
Description/subject: "In Burma the SPDC maintains an extensive network of MIS, police and government officials ready to detain anyone suspected of holding or expressing anti-government opinions. The military in Burma has established and enforced laws curtailing civil and political freedoms and utilized laws that allow it to crush any political opposition. The SPDCs laws and regulations criminalize freedom of thought, the dissemination of information and the right of association and assembly. The most commonly employed laws banning the demonstration of civil and political rights have been the 1923 Governments Official Secrets Act, the 1950 Emergency Provisions Act, the 1957 Unlawful Associations Act, the 1962 Printers and Publishers Registration Law, the 1975 State Protection Law, and Law No. 5/96. These laws and orders have restricted the civil and political rights of Burmese citizens for years; now, with technological advances available across the globe, new laws have been enacted in order to provide the SPDC authorities additional legal bases to curtail freedom of expression and the exchange of information. For more information on these laws, please refer to the chapters on the freedom of expression and the freedom of assembly and association..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Documentation Unit of the NCGUB
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Playing Games with Political Prisoners; Talks in Rangoon; Forced Labour and the ILO; Look at the People, not the Politicians
Date of publication: 21 October 2001
Description/subject: KHRG Commentary #2001-C2. "This Commentary examines the SPDC's use of political prisoners and empty talks in Rangoon to win favour and money internationally even while the Army continues its campaigns of destruction and killing in the countryside; meanwhile, the regime tries desperately to cover up its use of forced labour in the face of an investigating team from the International Labour Organisation. The report concludes that the world needs to listen much more to Burma's people, and less to its politicians."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Commentaries (KHRG #2001-C2)
Format/size: pdf (53 KB,10 pages)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2001/khrg01c2.html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Burma Human Rights Yearbook 2000: Arbitrary Detention and Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances
Date of publication: October 2001
Description/subject: "...In the year 2000 there remained an estimated 2,500 political prisoners in Burmas notorious jails. (Amnesty International and other international NGOs estimated this number to be 1,600) These individuals were being held in various prisons across Burma, suffering as a consequence of their involvement in the Burmese struggle for freedom and democracy. The living and social conditions of these political prisoners are grim and deteriorating daily..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Documentation Unit, NCGUB
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: Main Page of the Yearbook: http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs/yearbooks/Main.htm
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Prisoners as Political Pawns
Date of publication: September 2001
Description/subject: "The Burmese junta’s release of political prisoners could be little more than a well-worn ploy to ease international pressure and force the opposition to play along. The release of 168 political prisoners since talks between Burma’s ruling junta and the democratic opposition began late last year could ostensibly be seen as a positive development. Certainly, the released prisoners, who account for a small proportion of the estimated 2,000 political prisoners inside Burma’s ill-famed prisons, can consider themselves lucky. But are they really the beneficiaries of a dialogue process that remains shrouded in secrecy? While the world waits patiently for future breakthroughs, Burmese—especially former political prisoners—are beginning to discern a familiar pattern witnessed many times in the past. Judging from lessons learned during their more than decade-long struggle against military rule, few feel there is any reason to rejoice over the junta’s 'gestures of goodwill'..."
Author/creator: Kyaw Zwa Moe and Bo Kyi
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol 9. No. 7
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Spirit for Survival
Date of publication: September 2001
Description/subject: * Misrule of Law. Burma's Government leaps Over Legal Process by Aung San Suu Kyi. * What Is Torture? by Bo Kyi. * The Unknown Story of the Twenty Four. Freedom of Press Movement in Insein Prison 1992-1996. By Zin Linn. * Behind the Iron Door. By Ko Myo. * A Star Falls Down Before Sunrise. By Naing Kyaw. * Exile from Rangoon. Burmese Academic and Dissident. By Doug Blackburn. * 10-D. By Kyaw Zwa Moe. Few people outside the country of Burma can understand the images and memories that are rolled into the simple expression '10-D'. * Taking Exams in Prison. By Sai Win Kyaw. * The Underground Revolution. By Khin Maung Soe. Insein Prison November 1975. * The Biggest Forced Labour Camp in the World. By Zin Linn. * Tin Maung Oo. A Rose in December '74. By Maung Maung Taik. * Insein Prison. Could Mandela Survive Here? By Moe Aye. * From Darkness to Light. By Thet Hmu. * Let's Fight Against the Unjust. By Ko Tate. * Learning Behind Bars. By Kyaw Zwa Moe. * Prison Without Bars. The Daily Life of a Former Political Prisoner. By Bo Kyi. * Record of the Red Rose. By Htain Linn. * Young Birds, Outside Cages. Prison Walls Affect those on the Outside Too. By Aung San Suu Kyi. * Touch, a Poem by Hugh Lewin
Author/creator: Aung San Suu Kyi, Bo Kyi, Zin Linn, Ko Myo, Naing Kyaw, Doug Blackburn, Kyaw Zwa Moe, Sai Win Kyaw, Khin Maung Soe, Maung Maung Taik, Moe Aye, Thet Hmu, Ko Tate, Htain Linn, Hugh Lewin
Language: English
Source/publisher: Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma) - AAPPB
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.aappb.org/spirit%20for%20survival.html
Date of entry/update: 07 July 2003


Title: Myanmar: Torture of Ethnic Minority Women
Date of publication: 17 July 2001
Description/subject: Torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of men, women and children, both in ethnic minority areas and in central Myanmar, has taken place for decades. This report examines the torture and ill-treatment of women from ethnic minorities in particular by the tatmadaw (armed forces). Ethnic minorities, who make up a third of the country's population, mainly live in seven states in the country . . . Amnesty International has documented serious human rights violations by the tatmadaw: extra-judicial executions, "disappearances," torture and cruel treatment of ethnic minority civilians, including the rape and sexual abuse of women. Torture in ethnic minority areas generally takes place in the context of forced labour and portering; forced relocation, and in detention at army camps, military intelligence centres, in people's homes, fields and villages. Many individuals have died as a result of torture or been killed after being tortured. Force and the threat of force is regularly used to compel members of ethnic minorities to comply with military directives - which may range from orders for villages to relocate; to provide unpaid labourers to military forces; to not harvesting their crops. Torture, including rape, is particularly widespread in those states where armed resistance continues and the army is engaged in counter-insurgency operations against armed groups. ... ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced
Language: English,French
Source/publisher: Amnesty International
Format/size: html, pdf
Alternate URLs: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA16/017/2001/en/ba1e04f0-d90b-11dd-ad8c-f3d4445c118e/asa1... (French)
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA16/017/2001/en
Date of entry/update: 19 November 2010


Title: Learning Behind Bars
Date of publication: June 2001
Description/subject: While most young people in Burma have been deprived of their right to a decent education over the past decade, none have suffered more in this respect than the country's political prisoners. Kyaw Zwa Moe, a former inmate of Rangoon's notorious Insein Prison, recalls the resourcefulness of prisoners determined to keep their minds free.
Author/creator: Kyaw Zwa Moe
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol 9. No. 5
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Members of Parliament Imprisoned Or Detained Without Trial
Date of publication: 25 May 2001
Description/subject: Prisoners of conscience and NLD MPs-elect Dr. Than Nyein (m), 67, and Dr. May Win Myint (f), 55, have been imprisoned since October 1997 and are in poor states of health. They have each served a seven year prison sentence for organizing a meeting of opposition party members of the National League for Democracy (NLD). They have been detained without charge or trial since the expiry of their sentences and authorities have ordered that they remain in detention until January and February 2006 at the earliest. Both have medical problems, exacerbated by their treatment in detention. Dr. Than Nyein has repeatedly gone on hunger strike to protest his continued imprisonment and his health is believed to be deteriorating seriously. Amnesty International and reiterates calls on authorities for the immediate and unconditional release from detention of these two prisoners of conscience.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Amnesty International
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 15 December 2010


Title: Leaving Home
Date of publication: May 2001
Description/subject: For a political prisoner in Burma, release from detention is just one step towards freedom. Kyaw Zwa Moe explains why he chose to go into exile after spending eight years behind bars, and describes his feelings upon leaving the country of his birth knowing that he might never be able to return.
Author/creator: Kyaw Zwa Moe
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 9. No. 4
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Myanmar: Prisoners of Political Repression
Date of publication: 14 April 2001
Description/subject: "Thousands of political prisoners have been held in detention since large scale public unrest erupted in Myanmar in March 1988...The following lists give details of 458 prisoners known to Amnesty International of the 1,850 political prisoners currently detained in Myanmar: the result of more than a decade of continuous official repression of peaceful dissent in the country. They include students, politicians, doctors, farmers, teachers, journalists, writers, lawyers, comedians and housewives, who have been penalized for peacefully demonstrating; distributing or possessing uncensored leaflets or videos; seeking redress for human rights violations; telling jokes; wearing yellow; or talking to foreign journalists. Amnesty International is concerned that the majority of these prisoners are being held solely on account of their peaceful exercise of the rights to freedom of assembly association and expression...." Contains tabular lists with details of 485 political prisoners
Language: English
Source/publisher: Amnesty International
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA16/006/2001/en
Date of entry/update: 21 November 2010


Title: Myanmar: U Win Tin, Journalist and Prisoner of Conscience
Date of publication: 01 March 2001
Description/subject: U Win Tin spent his 71st birthday in March 2001 in Insein Prison, where he has been detained as a prisoner of conscience for almost 12 years. He is a prominent journalist and writer and Central Executive Committee member of the National League for Democracy (NLD)(1). He was arrested on 4 July 1989 during a nationwide crackdown by the authorities on the opposition, and has been sentenced to a total of 20 years' imprisonment. U Win Tin is the only senior member of the NLD arrested in June and July 1989 to remain in detention; other senior NLD members who were detained at that time were subsequently released under amnesties.
Language: English,French
Source/publisher: Amnesty International (ASA 16/005/2001)
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA16/005/2001/en/1e39ac40-db77-11dd-af3c-1fd4bb8cf58e/asa1... (French)
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA16/005/2001/en
Date of entry/update: 21 November 2010


Title: Myanmar: Min Ko Naing, Student Leader and Prisoner of Conscience
Date of publication: 01 January 2001
Description/subject: Paw U Tun alias Min Ko Naing, Chairman of the All Burma Federation of Student Unions ABFSU, was arrested on 24 March 1989. He was sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment later commuted to 10 years under a general amnesty for his anti-government activities
Language: English,French
Source/publisher: Amnesty International (ASA 16/001/2001)
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA16/001/2001/en/79b6caa9-dc5b-11dd-bce7-11be3666d687/asa1... (French)
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA16/001/2001/en
Date of entry/update: 21 November 2010


Title: Convict Porters: The Brutal Abuse of Prisoners on Burma’s Frontlines
Date of publication: 20 December 2000
Description/subject: The Brutal Abuse of Prisoners on Burma's Frontlines. Based on KHRG interviews with prison convicts from all over Burma who have escaped forced labour for SPDC troops, this report tells the story of their arrest, sentencing, life in the prisons and the increasing use of convicts as porters by Burma's military junta. Documents the arbitrary arrest and sentencing of people to long jail terms for petty offences, the brutal and inhuman conditions in the prisons, and the even more brutal abuse and killings of convicts who are forced to go into combat situations with the military - in many cases after their sentences should have expired. This report also includes an Annex of Interviews.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #2000-060)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Myanmar, the Institution of Torture
Date of publication: 13 December 2000
Description/subject: Torture and ill-treatment have become institutionalized in Myanmar. They are practised by the army as part of counter-insurgency activities; by Military Intelligence (MI) personnel when they interrogate political detainees; by prison guards; and by the police. Patterns of torture have remained the same, although the time and place vary. Torture occurs throughout the country and has been reported for over four decades. Members of the security forces continue to use torture as a means of extracting information; to punish political prisoners and members of ethnic minorities; and as a means of instilling fear in anyone critical of the military government. KEYWORDS: Torture, ill-treatment, political prisoners, impunity, prison conditions, penal institutions, forced labour, incommunicado detention, death in custody, torture techniques, freedom of expression, freedom of association, minorities, police.
Language: English,French
Source/publisher: Amnesty International (ASA 16/24/00)
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA16/024/2000/en/c5c02685-dcf7-11dd-bacc-b7af5299964b/asa1... (French)
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA16/024/2000/en
Date of entry/update: 21 November 2010


Title: Burma Human Rights Yearbook 1999-2000: 09 - Arbitrary Detention, Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances
Date of publication: August 2000
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Documentation Unit of the NCGUB
Format/size: pdf (137K)
Date of entry/update: 23 November 2003


Title: Unsung Heroines: the Women of Myanmar
Date of publication: 24 May 2000
Description/subject: Women in Myanmar have been subjected to a wide range of human rights violations, including political imprisonment, torture and rape, forced labour, and forcible relocation, all at the hands of the military authorities. At the same time women have played an active role in the political and economic life of the country. It is the women who manage the family finances and work alongside their male relatives on family farms and in small businesses. Women have been at the forefront of the pro-democracy movement which began in 1988, many of whom were also students or female leaders within opposition political parties. Burman and non-Burman women. List of women in prison.ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced
Language: English
Source/publisher: Amnesty International USA (ASA 16/04/00)
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA16/004/2000/en
http://www.amnestyusa.org/document.php?lang=e&id=EA7452D0C7C763F9802568E80064E12E
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA16/004/2000/en/e8ec29a6-df28-11dd-a3b7-b978e1cb2058/asa1... (Spanish)
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA16/004/2000/en/ed205dae-df28-11dd-a3b7-b978e1cb2058/asa1... (French)
Date of entry/update: 25 November 2010


Title: Amnesty International Medical Letter Writing Action
Date of publication: 05 May 2000
Description/subject: Lack of medical care in Myanmar prisons. Amnesty International is concerned about the poor health of many prisoners of conscience in Myanmar, resulting from torture and conditions amounting to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. These include lack of proper medical care and sanitation, extremely poor diet, and prolonged solitary confinement or overcrowding. In the last ten years dozens of political prisoners have died in custody as a consequence. Amnesty International is in particular concerned for the health of political prisoners U Tin Htun, U Ohn Kyaw, U Tun Aung Kyaw alias Thakhin Mipwar, Zaw Maung Maung Win and Nay Tinn Myint who all require urgent medical attention. Keywords: lack of medical care / prisoners of conscience
Language: English, Spanish
Source/publisher: Amnesty Internattional
Format/size: html, pdf
Alternate URLs: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA16/003/2000/en/0b46be78-df31-11dd-a3b7-b978e1cb2058/asa1... (Spanish)
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA16/003/2000/en
Date of entry/update: 21 November 2010


Title: Human Rights Violations in Burma/Myanmar in 1999
Date of publication: 14 March 2000
Description/subject: Report of an expert fact-finding mission in December 1999. Particularly strong on methodology and the clinical description of torture. Includes high-quality photos. Most interviewed were Karenni or Mon... TOC: Summary; Preface; Introduction; Methods; Ethics; Results; Forced labour; Porter service; Forced relocation; Arrests; Other incidents; Looting; Killings; Rape; Disappearances; Torture; Landmine accidents; Army units; Discussion; Conclusion; Appendix, cases; References; Tables; Figures... "We interviewed and examined 129 persons who had fled Burma / Myanmar from December 1998 to December 1999, and compared the degree of reported human rights violations with that from the previously examined persons who fled November 1996 to November 1997. Of the interviewed persons, 88% reported forced labour and 77% porter service, 54% had been forcibly relocated from their villages, 87% had had their possessions looted, and 46% had lost at least one relative through killing, disappearance, or landmine accident. 20% reported that they or a near relative had been tortured. Of the former, four had remarkable scars that strongly corroborated their histories."
Author/creator: Hans Draminsky Petersen, Lise Worm, Mette Zander, Ole Hartling and Bjarne Ussing
Language: English, Danish
Source/publisher: Amnesty International, Denmark, Danish Medical Group, Danchurchaid.
Format/size: html (1913K), Word (3MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.amnesty.dk (For a Word version to download, click on bibilotek left frame Click on Burma rapport Click on download rapporten Click on rapport po engelsk Word or Text - the Word file is more than 2MB, but the Text version does not have the photos, and the tables are not shown. Danish version also available for download)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: What is Torture?
Date of publication: March 2000
Description/subject: Bo Kyi recalls and explains his experiences in Burma's prison. "One of the greatest obstacles to assisting victims of torture and ending this abhorrent practice is public ignorance about the nature of the problem. Few people really understand what torture is. Since a greater awareness is essential for the prevention of future torture, I would like to explain what torture is, as well as its aims, methods and effects, drawing in particular upon the experiences of torture victims in Burma..."
Author/creator: Bo Kyi
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 8 No.3
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Judicial Independence in Burma: No March Backwards Towards the Past
Date of publication: 2000
Description/subject: "This paper discusses and analyzes judicial independence in Burma, primarily since independence in 1948. To that end, this paper analyzes and briefly comments on constitutional provisions concerning the independence of the judiciary in the two defunct provisions of post-independence constitutions of Burma, namely the 1947 and 1974 Constitutions. In doing so, the paper focuses mainly on the post-1948 and post-1962 developments. The post-1962 developments highlight how the military takeover in March of that year eroded and extinguished the independence of the judiciary in Burma. To appreciate the concept of the independence of the judiciary in historical perspective, however, it is helpful to trace briefly the concept and practice of judicial independence in the days of the Burmese monarchs of the pre-colonial era. Further, it is necessary to analyze briefly the impact of British law on the notions and practice of judicial independence in the colonial era..."
Author/creator: Myint Zan
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asian-Pacific Law and Policy Journal (APLPJ 5)
Format/size: pdf (154K)
Alternate URLs: http://unpan1.un.org/intradoc/groups/public/documents/apcity/unpan010355.pdf
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Burma's "Papillon"
Date of publication: May 1999
Description/subject: Pado Mahn Nyein recently spoke to the Irrawaddy about his daring escape from the penal colony on Coco Island, "the Rock" of Burma.
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 7. No. 4
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Ten Years On
Date of publication: March 1999
Description/subject: The life and views of a Burmese Student political prisoner Published by , March 1999 Produced with the generous support of the Open Society Institute(OSI). Foreign Affairs Office of the All Burma Students' Democratic Front for the use of its facilities in the production of the book. For political prisoners and the people of Burma who have suffered and continue to struggle for democracy * Introduction. Read * My Guiding Star. Read * Dialogue with the devil. Read * The defendant as a deaf mute. Read * My prison university student life. Read * Meeting with U Win Tin. Read * U Sein Hla Oo. Read * Too late to learn. Read * Could Mandela survive here?. Read * About Leo Nichols. Read * The last days of Mr Leo Nichols. Read * Uphill battle for the NLD. Read * Forced examinations. Read * Walking for freedom. Read * Conqueror of the king. Read * Denying the anti-fascist revolution. Read * Hostages, scapegoats for how long?. Read * Red tape as a psychological tactic. Read
Author/creator: Moe Aye
Language: English
Source/publisher: Louise Southalan via AAPPB
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.aappb.org/ten%20years%20on.html
Date of entry/update: 07 July 2003


Title: The SPDC's Diplomatic Gambit
Date of publication: February 1999
Description/subject: The SPDC's recent release of two imprisoned writers has more to do with Burma's diplomatic isolation - highlighted by the European Union's refusal to allow the junta to attend the upcoming EU-Asean summit in Berlin - than with a real change of heart.
Author/creator: Aung Zaw
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 7. No. 2
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: The Last Days of Mr Leo Nichols
Date of publication: December 1998
Description/subject: The death in prison of Leo Nichols
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Burma Debate" Vol. V, No. 1
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Tortured Voices (extracts)
Date of publication: July 1998
Description/subject: Tortured Voices: Personal Accounts of Burma's Interrogation Centers
Language: English
Source/publisher: ABSDF
Alternate URLs: http://www.aappb.org/tortured_voices.pdf
Date of entry/update: 03 December 2010


Title: Tortured Voices (full text)
Date of publication: July 1998
Description/subject: Personal Accounts of Burma's Interrogation Centres * No Escape by Phone Myint Tun. * At the Mercy of the Beast by Ma Su Su Mon. * In the Flames of Evil by Win Naing Oo. * Two Times Too Many by Cho Cho Htun Nyein. * Into theDarkness by Tin Win Aung.Read * A Dialogue With the Devil by Moe Aye.Read * My Interrogation by Ma Tin Tin Maw. * Like Water in Their Hands by Naing Kyaw. * The Storm by Ye Teiza. * The Last Days of Mr. Leo Nichols by Moe Aye.
Language: English
Source/publisher: All Burma Students' Democratic Front via AAPPB
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.aappb.org/tortured%20voices.html
Date of entry/update: 07 July 2003


Title: Myanmar 1988 to 1998 Happy 10th Anniversary? Death in Custody
Date of publication: 28 May 1998
Description/subject: In the ten years since the violent suppression of the pro-democracy movement in 1988, Amnesty International is aware of at least 30 political prisoners who have died in custody in Myanmar, thought the true number is believed to be much higher. Information collected during the last 10 years shows that torture and ill-treatment of political prisoners is common, conditions in prisons are poor and insanitary, prisoners are provided an inadequate diet and commonly denied the medical care they need, and some prisoners are made to work under harsh conditions in labour camps. Given this combination of abuses the risk of not surviving imprisonment in Myanmar, particularly for the elderly, is great. Deaths in custody in Myanmar generally fall into two categories. Some prisoners die because they have been tortured and suffer fatal injuries. Other prisoners die from illness -- sometimes induced or worsened by ill-treatment or the conditions under which they are held -- for which they do not receive proper medical care; often prisoners who are ill are not sent to hospital until it is too late. The 10 deaths described below are examples of what can and still does happen to political prisoners in Myanmar.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Amnesty International (ASA 16/16/98)
Format/size: html, pdf (25.25 K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA16/016/1998/en/3bd19545-daa6-11dd-80bc-797022e51902/asa1...
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA16/016/1998/en
Date of entry/update: 18 November 2010


Title: Deadly Requests
Date of publication: April 1998
Description/subject: You don't have the right to complain about anyone but yourself. If you do, you could spark a political movement in prison." This is the warning jail authorities in Burma give all political prisoners. Prison medical officers also follow the stern warnings of jail authorities. Nor could we request a doctor on someone else's behalf. I will give you some examples of the dangers of trying to help political prisoners in need of medical attention. Former political prisoner Moe Aye,
Author/creator: By Moe Aye
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 6. No. 2
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: From Darkness to Light
Date of publication: October 1997
Description/subject: . . . The word 'poun-zan' is prison terminology, which literally means to assume the squatting position with fisted hands on one's knees. It is an order to be followed strictly by each and every inmate at the designated time everyday, whenever a prison official walks in, similar to the military command 'attention.' But I find it extremely degrading to hear a loud mechanical voice shout 'poun-zan.' I also believe this system was introduced at every prison in our country with the objective of mentally torturing andeventually, dehumanizing the prisoners. This command is usually followed by beatings with rubber-clad iron pipes, bamboo sticks and the sounds of ankle chains and the 'daut' -- an iron rod fitted on ankle chains that keeps legs constantly stretched apart, thus preventing normal walking. In addition to these, tear gas bombs and other types of weapons are waiting on the sidelines that will crush those who try to move. . .
Author/creator: Thet Hmu
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Burma Debate" Vol. IV, No. 4
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Myanmar: a Challenge for the International Community
Date of publication: October 1997
Description/subject: The State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC, Myanmar's military government) has shown a cynical contempt for the basic human rights of the Burmese people and for calls by the international community to improve its human rights record. Since the first United Nations (UN) General Assembly resolution was adopted on Myanmar in 1992, the SLORC has made almost no progress in implementing any of the recommendations made by the UN. Although some prisoners of conscience have been released since 1992, scores more have taken their place in prisons throughout the country. Repression of ethnic minorities continues unabated by the SLORC, in spite of 15 cease-fire agreements with armed ethnic minority groups. Radical restrictions on the rights to freedom of speech, assembly and movement remain in place for all citizens in Myanmar. In 1997 the SLORC continued to use short term arrests as a tactic to intimidate political activists, a tactic employed since their seizure of power in 1988. Hundreds of political activists, most of them members of the National League for Democracy (NLD), the largest legal opposition political party, were arrested in the first six months of 1997. Although the majority of these people were held for brief periods, at least 57 others were sentenced to long terms of imprisonment. Renewed NLD activity since the release of party leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in 1995 has been matched by increasing repression of party members by Military Intelligence (MI).
Language: English
Source/publisher: Amnesty International (ASA 16/28/97)
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA16/028/1997/en/2d0418b2-e988-11dd-8224-a709898295f2/asa1... (French)
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA16/028/1997/en
Date of entry/update: 03 December 2010


Title: Insein Prison: Could Mandela Survive Here?
Date of publication: September 1997
Description/subject: Whoever you are, leave it at the prison gate. There are no politicians, doctors, teachers, monks, nuns or students. You are all prisoners. You are all the same." Those are the greeting words for every new political prisoner in Burma. The jail authorities subscribe to the junta's official line that there are no political prisoners in the jails. In 1991, I was detained in cell block No.1 of Insein Special Jail formerly called the Attached Jail. Although it is a special jail, the only special privilege provided was "special solitary confinement".
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 5. No. 6
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Insein Prison: HIV Headquarters?
Date of publication: August 1997
Description/subject: A former political prisoner recalls the tale of HIV horror inside the notorious Insein prison. Slorc used to threaten political prisoners with the cancellation of visiting rights, beating, transferal to another prison or an unfamiliar cell-block, solitary confinement and extension of prison-terms. But it was not successful. Now, they use more effective weapons to threaten prisoners.
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 5. No. 4-5
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: A Lifetime Spent Fighting Injustice
Date of publication: June 1997
Description/subject: Obituary Of U Tin Shwe, a political prisoner in Insein prison
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 5. No. 3
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Pleading Not Guilty in Insein (excerpt)
Date of publication: June 1997
Description/subject: The following excerpt was taken from "Pleading Not Guilty in Insein", the translation of an official SLORC report on the trial of 22 political prisoners in Insein jail.
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Burma Debate", Vol. IV, No. 2
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Pleading Not Guilty in Insein (full text)
Date of publication: February 1997
Description/subject: " This report is about human courage and dignity. In face of the most stringent deprivation and under the harshest duress, man can stand up and show that there is still one freedom that can't be taken away: the freedom to choose how to respond to the situation. The political prisoners of Insein could have chosen to bow to the use of force. Their spirit could have been broken by torture and solitary confinement. But instead, they have chosen to respond with calmness and nobility. Not only have they pleaded not guilty to the trumped up charges of the SLORC, they spoken out in their defense, defending their basic human rights and dignity and denouncing the unfair trail. The report is an authentic document and in a sense a SLORC official document. It shows the perception and the standard used by the SLORC in as far as human rights are concerned. Writing, reading, drawing pictures, listening to radio programmes, communicating and other basic freedoms of expression are considered an offense liable to long years of imprisonment and hard labor..." The following articles are the translation of an official record of the summary trial of 22 political prisoners serving time in Burma's infamous Insein Prison. * Preface. * Introduction. * The Trial Report Translation. * Evidence. * Testimony of the Accused. * Summary. * Conclusion.
Language: English
Source/publisher: All Burma Students' Democratic Front (ABSDF) via AAPPB
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.aappb.org/pleading%20not%20guilty%20in%20insein
Date of entry/update: 07 July 2003


Title: Myanmar: Appeal Cases
Date of publication: September 1996
Description/subject: SAN SAN NWE: JOURNALIST AND WRITER SENTENCED TO 7 YEARS IMPRISONMENT; WIN TIN: JOURNALIST SERVING A 19 YEAR PRISON SENTENCE; MA THIDA: SURGEON AND WRITER SENTENCED TO 20 YEARS IMPRISONMENT; U KAWEINDA: PRISONER OF CONSCIENCE; 75 BUDDHIST MONKS IMPRISONED.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Amnesty International USA (ASA 16/37/96)
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA16/037/1996/en/d441a216-eaee-11dd-b22b-3f24cef8f6d8/asa1... (French)
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA16/037/1996/en
Date of entry/update: 03 December 2010


Title: Myanmar: Update on Political Arrests and Trials
Date of publication: September 1996
Description/subject: The human rights situation has deteriorated sharply in Myanmar in the last four months. Amnesty International is gravely concerned by the latest developments in the country, which include widespread arrests and sentencing of prisoners of conscience. This increase in political imprisonment constitutes the largest wave of repression of peaceful political opposition activities since the mass detentions and political trials of 1990 and 1991. As the Myanmar Government seeks increased acceptance in the region and internationally, Amnesty International urges governments worldwide to maintain pressure for improvements in the human rights situation in Myanmar.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Amnesty International (ASA 16/30/96)
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA16/046/1996/en/7d501277-eae6-11dd-b22b-3f24cef8f6d8/asa1... (French)
Date of entry/update: 03 December 2010


Title: Myanmar: Renewed Repression
Date of publication: 10 July 1996
Description/subject: Nothing has changed in Myanmars human rights situation since the release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on 10 July 1995. Although her release raised hopes for an improvement in the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) human rights practice and policy, the pace of political arrests has in fact accelerated dramatically since November 1995. Some 1,000 political prisoners remain behind bars throughout the country. In May 1996 the SLORC arrested over 300 National League for Democracy (NLD) activists in the largest crackdown since the mass detentions of 1990, when scores of NLD members of parliament-elect werearrested.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Amnesty International USA (ASA 16/30/96)
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA16/030/1996/en
Date of entry/update: 21 November 2010


Title: Myanmar: List of National League for Democracy NLD Members of Parliament-Elect and Activists Arrested Since 20 May 1996 and Believed to be Still Detained
Date of publication: 07 June 1996
Description/subject: Update 2 - 7/6/96
Language: English
Source/publisher: Amnesty International USA (ASA 16/25/96)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 23 November 2010


Title: Myanmar: Over 200 Activists Still Held
Date of publication: 01 May 1996
Description/subject: "The State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC, Myanmars military government) continues to detain 258 National League for Democracy (NLD) activists, among them 235 members of parliament-elect, arrested in the nationwide sweep of the NLD since 20 May. It is not known where most of them are being held and they continue to be detained in incommunicado detention.Amnesty International has obtained the names of 142 of those who have been arrested, which are listed on the attached pages..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Amnesty International (ASA 16/23/96)
Format/size: html, pdf
Alternate URLs: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA16/023/1996/en
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA16/023/1996/en/9d40c001-eafb-11dd-aad1-ed57e7e5470b/asa1...
Date of entry/update: 21 November 2010


Title: Myanmar: Scores of Activists Detained
Date of publication: 01 May 1996
Description/subject: "Amnesty International is gravely concerned at the arrests of some 191 National League for Democracy activists (NLD, the opposition party founded by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi which won the 1990 elections) by the Myanmar authorities. The scale of these arrests is the largest to take place in Myanmar since the mass detentions in 1990.The current wave of arrests began on 20 May and at last report is still continuing throughout the country. Amnesty International has obtained the names of 91 of those who have been arrested, which are listed on the attached pages..."
Language: English, Spanish
Source/publisher: Amnesty International (ASA 16/17/96)
Format/size: html, pdf
Alternate URLs: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA16/017/1996/en
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA16/017/1996/en/066db02d-eafd-11dd-aad1-ed57e7e5470b/asa1... (Spanish)
Date of entry/update: 21 November 2010


Title: Cries from Insein
Date of publication: 1996
Description/subject: A report on the physical and psychological conditions of political prisoners in Burma's infamous Insein Prison. ". . . The following are the usual types of beating: 1. The prisoner has to stand and embrace a post and is beaten while both hands are held firmly by another person; 2. The prisoner is beaten while lying prone on the ground; 3. The prisoner, both legs chained, is made to stand in standard position no. 4 and is beaten; 4. The prisoner is beaten while being forced to crawl along the ground; 5. Prisoners are shackled and a long iron bar is placed so that their legs are splayed. They are then forced to crawl along the ground and are beaten; 6. Prisoners are forced to do squat-jumps (like in the game of leap-frog) and are beaten while doing so. When the authorities beat the prisoners, they do not avoid any part of the body, whether it is the face or chest or back. They routinely kick the chest, abdomen, face and back with military boots. They also jump on the backs of the prisoners who are crawling along the ground . . ."
Author/creator: Win Naing Oo
Language: English
Source/publisher: All Burma Student Democratic Front (ABSDF)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 December 2010


Title: Burma Human Rights Yearbook 1994: 03 - Arbitrary Detention and Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances
Date of publication: September 1995
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Documentation Unit of the NCGUB
Format/size: html (77K)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Current Conditions in Insein Prison
Date of publication: 05 December 1993
Description/subject: "Many times I saw prisoners being beaten and tortured, usually for stealing, gambling or quarrelling. First the guards beat them with a rubber pipe, and then they took them to the gravel path. They've made a gravel path, and they order the victim to crawl along it on his elbows and knees. They follow him with 2 or 3 dogs biting his legs. To escape their biting, the victim tries to crawl back to the cell as fast as he can on the gravel, so he scrapes all the skin off his elbows and legs. I saw them do this at least once or twice a month, especially in hot season, because in hot season it gets very hot and we're all in a very confined area, so there are more quarrels. . . " Oct 89 to Oct 93. Torture; arbitrary detention; summary trials. In prison: little room to sleep, on cement floor; beating; torture; no medicine. Political prisoners in separate category; new political prisoners arrive, as before; description of arrangements when foreign visitors visit; conditions of monks (forcibly disrobed, but kept their vows); list of monks in interviewee's room.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Report by an Escaped SLORC Munitions Porter
Date of publication: 13 November 1992
Description/subject: Including details on conditions in Mandalay Prison..."The following account was given through an interview in Burmese with a porter recently escaped from the SLORC’s current offensive in the northern Karen area of Saw Hta. He was serving a criminal sentence in Mandalay Prison when he was taken to Saw Hta as a munitions porter, so his description includes details of his arrest and imprisonment, conditions in Mandalay Prison, and his life as a porter. At the time of the interview he was still suffering from an open gash on the back of his head inflicted by a beating with a G3 rifle butt. On arrival, he also had severe bruises on his back caused by other rifle butt beatings..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Testmonies of Porters Escaped from the SLORC Army
Date of publication: 26 February 1992
Description/subject: "Dec. 91-Feb 92. Burman men, women, children: forced portering; porters used in battle, and as human shields; abandonment of wounded porters; Gang rape (sometimes ending in death) including rape of children; torture (burning); inhuman treatment(beating, incl. beating to death, deprivation of food, sleep, water, medical care; lack of clothes & blankets in freezing conditions); killing (incl. by burning); arbitrary detention; looting; pillaging (burning down of villages)..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Testimony of Porters Escaped from SLORC Forces
Date of publication: 25 January 1992
Description/subject: "Following are the accounts of four women who were conscripted as munitions porters by the SLORC army, No. 1 Light Infantry Battalion, on or about December 23, 1991. They served for 22 days, experiencing all manners of suffering and atrocities, before escaping into the hands of the Karen National Union on about January 16, 1992. Because of their weakened state after escaping and their understandable shyness about discussing what they’d been through, learning their stories was a slow process. The testimonies included here are actually summaries of what came out over the course of several conversations in Burmese. Many of their experiences were common to all 4 women, so to avoid too much repetition not all the details of every incident have been copied into all four stories. For example, all four women described the looting and ransacking the SLORC soldiers did in villages, but it isn’t detailed in every written summary. The stories of the sick Karen boy and the women’s escape, which are written in Daw Hla Myaing’s testimony, were actually told in detail by all four women..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: UNION OF MYANMAR (BURMA): A long-term human rights crisis
Date of publication: 31 December 1991
Description/subject: "Profound and bitter political strife continues in the Union of Myanmar (Burma), and political opponents engaged in various anti-government activities are still being arrested and sentenced to prison terms, or in some cases, to death by the ruling State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC). Amnesty International has collected the names of some 200 people who were arrested in connection with opposition political activities in the first seven months of 1991, and are apparently still detained. In the latest crackdown on any public opposition to its policies, the SLORC reportedly arrested hundreds of students involved in apparently peaceful demonstrations in early December 1991 which called for the release of previously detained students and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Amnesty International USA
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 09 March 2005


Title: UNION OF MYANMAR (BURMA): Arrests and trials of political prisoners January-July 1991
Date of publication: 09 December 1991
Description/subject: "Profound and bitter political strife continues in the Union of Myanmar (formerly the Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma), and political opponents engaged in various anti-government activities are still being arrested and sentenced to prison terms or, in some cases, to death by the ruling State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC). Amnesty International has collected the names of nearly 200 people who were arrested between January and July 1991 in connection with opposition political activities and who are apparently still detained. They bring to more than 1,500 the total number of people Amnesty International has been able to identify by name who the organization believes may be currently held by the SLORC on political grounds. The organization believes this may be only a proportion of the total number of political prisoners currently held by the SLORC..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Amnesty International USA
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 09 March 2005


Title: Myanmar (Burma): Unfair Political Trials
Date of publication: 31 August 1991
Description/subject: "Amnesty International has previously expressed concern that trials of political prisoners by Myanmar (Burma) military tribunals are not conducted according to international standards for fairness.In particular, the organization has emphasized that the summary trial procedures used by military tribunals restrict the defendant's rights of defence and to appeal, and that the resulting unfair trials have been used to imprison prisoners of conscience and other political prisoners..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Amnesty International USA (ASA 16/06/91)
Format/size: pdf (108K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA16/006/1991/en/ee4b30bd-ee42-11dd-99b6-630c5239b672/asa1...
Date of entry/update: 09 March 2005


Title: Myanmar: Recent developments related to human rights
Date of publication: 01 November 1990
Description/subject: This report describes some of the human rights violations which have taken place in Myanmar between May and September 1990, including the arrest of political activists and ill-treatment of political prisoners. It reports the continuing detention of members and leaders of the National League for Democracy (NLD), namely: Aung San Suu Kyi, Tin U, Kyi Maung, Chit Kaing, Ohn Kyaing, Thein Dan, Ye Myint Aung, Sein Kla Aung, Kyi Hla, Sein Hlaing, Myo Myint Nyein, and Nyan Paw. Three leaders of the Democratic Party for a New Society have also been arrested: Kyi Win, Ye Naing, Ngwe Oo.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Amnesty International (ASA 16/28/90)
Format/size: pdf (10K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA16/028/1990/en
Date of entry/update: 08 May 2012


Title: "BURMA: POST-ELECTION ABUSES"
Date of publication: 14 August 1990
Description/subject: BURMA: POST-ELECTION ABUSES... Background... Recent Demonstrations... Arrest and Torture of Political Prisoners Since the Elections... Execution of Political Prisoners... Continued Detention of Political Prisoners... Abuses of Civil Liberties... Abuses Against Refugees Returning from Thailand... Recommendations...
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Human Right Watch/ Asia"
Format/size: pdf (67K)
Date of entry/update: 15 July 2012


Title: MYANMAR: PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE AND TORTURE
Date of publication: 02 May 1990
Description/subject: "The 26-year rule of General Ne Win's Burma Socialist Programme Party came to an end when Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Saw Maung led a military coup on 18 September 1988. The coup followed months of pro-democracy demonstrations throughout the country - and the deaths of thousands of mostly peaceful demonstrators as a result of shootings by the army. Since the coup, severe human rights violations, including mass arrests of prisoners of conscience and possible prisoners of conscience, widespread torture, summary trials, and extrajudicial executions continued to occur at a very high level. Recent testimonies obtained by Amnesty International describe these human rights abuses and indicate that real or imputed critics of Myanmar's military government run a high risk of being imprisoned, interrogated, and tortured for the peaceful expression of their political views. The new military government pledged political and economic reforms that appeared to go some way towards meeting the demands of pro-democracy protesters. The authorities announced that elections to a new parliament would take place in May 1990, following which a new constitution would be drawn up to lay the foundation for a multi-party, parliamentary democracy. For the first time since 1962 political opposition parties were permitted to organize and were recognized by the government. However, the promised transition to parliamentary democracy was marred by renewed repression even as the new military government established itself. Hundreds of people were shot in the weeks following the coup by troops who fired on demonstrators without warning. Possibly thousands had been detained by the military government by March 1990, many of them prisoners of conscience. Prisoners of conscience included the main opposition leaders, many of whom were arrested in July 1989 and officially disqualified by the SLORC from standing in the elections. Evidence based on interviews conducted in November and December 1989 by Amnesty International from recently released political prisoners and refugees who have fled the country suggests not only that torture and unlawful killings of civilians in ethnic minority areas continue to be widespread but that torture of political suspects occurs in other parts of the country (i.e. non-ethnic minority areas). Several of those interviewed had been prisoners of conscience, arrested, interrogated and tortured for the peaceful exercise of their fundamental human rights. In the light of this new information, Amnesty International is seriously concerned that any person arrested for political reasons in Myanmar must be considered to be at risk of torture by government security forces..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Amnesty International (ASA 16-04-90)
Format/size: pdf (68K)
Date of entry/update: 19 August 2005


Title: "BURMA (MYANMAR): WORSENING REPRESSION"
Date of publication: 11 March 1990
Description/subject: Arrests of Opposition Party Leaders and Candidates... The Ruling Against Aung San Suu Kyi... Restrictions on Freedom of Speech and Assembly... Forced Relocations of Civilians... Restrictions on Freedom of the Press... The Border Conflict... Forced Porterage... Student Refugees in Thailand... U.S. Policy... RECENT PUBLICATIONS FROM ASIA WATCH
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Right Watch/ Asia
Format/size: pdf (89K)
Date of entry/update: 15 July 2012


Title: MYANMAR (BURMA): PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE - A CHRONICLE OF DEVELOPMENTS SINCE SEPTEMBER 1988
Date of publication: November 1989
Description/subject: 1. INTRODUCTION 1 2. THE MILITARY TAKEOVER OF 18 SEPTEMBER 1988 AND ITS BACKGROUND 3. MARTIAL LAW RESTRICTIONS ON CIVIL LIBERTIES AND LEGISLATION USED TO DETAIN PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE 3.1 Martial law Order Number 2/88 and Notification Number 8/88 of 18 September 1988 and 10 October 1988 3.2 The 1950 Emergency Provisions Act 3.3 The 1962 Law for the Registration of Printers and Publishers 4. UNFAIR TRIAL AND DETENTION WITHOUT CHARGE OR TRIAL 4.1 The Judicial Law of 26 September 1988 4.2 Martial law Orders Numbers 1/89 and 2/89 of 17 and 18 July 1989 4.3 The 1975 State Protection Law 5. NUMBERS OF ARRESTS 6. THE AUTHORITIES' POSITION 7. AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS 8. AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL'S RECOMMENDATIONS 9. STUDENT OPPOSITION GROUPS AND POLITICAL PARTIES 9.1 Student groups: The All-Burma Federation of Student Unions (ABFSU) and the All Burma Students' Democratic Association (ABSDA) 9.1.1 Student political objectives, strategy and tactics 9.1.2 Students and armed insurgents 9.1.3 The All Burma Students Democratic Federation (ABSDF) 9.2 Political parties 9.2.1 The National League for Democracy (NLD) 9.2.2 The Democratic Party for a New Society (DPNS) 9.2.3 Other political parties 10. ARRESTS OF PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE OR POSSIBLE PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE BETWEEN 18 SEPTEMBER 1988 AND JANUARY 1989 10.1 Nay Min alias Win Shwe 10.2 Aung Thet U alias Aung Thet Oo, Maung Maung Nyunt, Myo Zaw Win, Ne Win alias Nay Win, Aung Tha Win 10.3 Zaw Win alias Hanid alias Maung Zaw Win alias Hadun alias Har Nink 10.4 Aye Myint 10.5 Sein Hla Aung, Maung Maung Soe alias Wai Lu, Kyaw Lin, Aung Cho, Aung Gyi 11. DEVELOPMENTS BETWEEN JANUARY AND MARCH 1989 11.1 Paw U Tun's first public appearance since the coup 11.2 Aung San Suu Kyi's visit to Ayeyarwady Division and reported arrests 11.3 Bo Yan Naing's funeral 11.4 Aung San Suu Kyi's visit to the Shan State 11.5 A February 1989 ABFSU open letter to political parties 11.6 A Paw U Tun statement about the military 11.7 Differences between student and political leaders 11.8 Aung San Suu Kyi's response 12. ARRESTS IN CONNECTION WITH MEMORIAL AND PROTEST GATHERINGS AND POLITICAL MEETINGS 12.1 SLORC warnings 12.2 Student plans and leaflets 12.3 Further government warnings 12.4 Arrests on 10 and 11 March 1989: Than Nyunt Oo, Ko Ko Naing, Zaw Thein Oo, Kyaw San Oo, Ko Yan Nyein, Nyi Nyi Naing 12.5 The 13 March 1989 memorial rallies in honour of Maung Phone Maw 12.6 Arrests on 13 March 1989: Kyaw Oo, Ma Lay Lay Myint, Ma Mar Lar Nwe, Ma Sanda U, Aung Naing Oo, Ma Thi Thi Maw, Ma Sein Sein Kyu, Maung Maung, Min Aung, Chit Swe, Pe Win, Maung Win Ma Tin Win, Khin Yu Swe, Kaing Kaing Maw, Ma Mu Mu Lwin 12.7 "Red Bridge" demonstrations on 16 March 1989 12.8 Arrests on 16 March 1989: Lu Aye, Kyaw Sein, Ye Win 12.9 Demonstrations on 17 March 1989 12.10 Arrests on 18 March 1989: Toe Kyaw Hlaing, Ma Khin Hnin Nwe, Tint Lwin Oo, Tun Tun Aye, Tin Ko Oo 12.11 Meetings at political party offices from 16 to 20 March 1989 12.12 Demonstrations and arrests on 20 and 21 March 1989: Myat San, Zaw Oo, Aye Min, Thant Zin, Ma San San Oo, Bo Kyi, Yan Myo Thein, Min Thu, Aung Myat Oo, Ma Win Myo Kyi 12.13 Demonstration and arrests on 21 March 1989: Cho Gyi, Ma Saw Thu Wai, Win Naing 12.14 Arrest of the ABFSU Chairman Paw U Tun on 24 March 1989 12.15 Arrest on 24 March 1989: Ma Saw Sandar Win 12.16 Demonstrations and arrests on 25 March 1989 12.17 Demonstrations on Armed Forces Day, 27 March 1989 12.18 Arrests on 27 March 1989: Tin Htay, Sithu Tun, Win Myint Than 12.19 Other Armed Forces Day demonstrations 12.20 General Saw Maung's Armed Forces Day speech 12.21 New SLORC warnings to student organizations and political parties 12.22 Aung San Suu Kyi on arrests in March 1989 13. APRIL AND MAY 1989 ARRESTS IN CONNECTION WITH POSSESSION OF ANTI-GOVERNMENT DOCUMENTS, PERFORMANCE OF ANTI-GOVERNMENT SATIRES, AND MAKING OF ANTI-GOVERNMENT SPEECHES 13.1 SLORC warnings on 7 April 1989 13.2 Arrests on 8 April 1989 13.3 Gatherings on the traditional new year 13.4 Arrests in connection with new years gatherings: Pa Du 13.5 Arrests on 24 April 1989: 4 Aung Din, Min Thein Kha 14. JUNE 1989 ARRESTS APPARENTLY CONNECTED TO PLANS FOR A SCHOOL BOYCOTT 14.1 The ABFSU conference in Mandalay 14.2 NLD and other political party endorsements 14.3 Reported arrests on 11 June 1989 14.4 More SLORC warnings on 13 June 1989 14.5 Arrests on 27 June 1989: Nyo Tun, Zaw Zaw Aung 15. MAY AND JUNE 1989 ARRESTS CONNECTED TO RESTRICTIONS ON PRINTING, PUBLICATION AND DISTRIBUTION OF DOCUMENTS 15.1 Arrests on 14 June 1989 15.2 Aung San Suu Kyi's response to the restrictions 16. JUNE 1989 ARRESTS IN CONNECTION WITH MEMORIAL AND CAMPAIGN GATHERINGS ORGANIZED BY STUDENT GROUPS AND LEGALLY-REGISTERED POLITICAL PARTIES 16.1 Disagreements over continuation of the martial law regime 16.2 Severance of official contacts with the DPNS 16.3 Temporary detention of Cho Cho Kyaw Nyein 16.4 ABFSU-NLD Youth joint press conference 16.5 Memorial ceremonies on 21 June 1989 16.6 Security force shootings, the temporary detention of Aung San Suu Kyi and other arrests on 21 June 1989 16.7 22. June 1989: SLORC announces continued tight control and attacks Aung San Suu Kyi 16.8 NLD denials of links to the communist insurgency 16.9 A gathering on 23 June 1989 16.10 Arrests on 23 June 1989: U Kaweinda, Ko Thant Sin alias Ko Thant Zin 16.11 Aung San Suu Kyi's 26 June 1989 press conference announcing plans for anniversary gatherings 16.12 30 June 1989: More SLORC attacks on Aung San Suu Kyi and the NLD 16.13 28 June 1989 arrest: U Aung Lwin 17. JULY 1989 ARRESTS IN CONNECTION WITH MEMORIAL AND CAMPAIGN GATHERINGS ORGANIZED BY STUDENT GROUPS AND LEGALLY-REGISTERED POLITICAL PARTIES 17.1 Aung San Suu Kyi again criticizes U Ne Win and denies communist influence 17.2 NLD gathering on 2 July 1989 17.3 Arrest on 2 July 1989: U Yan Kyaw alias Ko Yan Kyaw 17.4 NLD gathering on 3 July 1989 17.5 Arrest on 4 July 1989: Win Tin, U Ngwe Hlaing 17.6 NLD gathering and General Saw Maung's press conference on 5 July 1989 17.7 NLD gatherings on 6 July 1989 and student demonstrations on 7 July 1989 17.8 Arrests on 7 July 1989: Mya Thin, Kyaw Htay U, Aung Kyaw U, Toe Kyaw Hlaing 17.9 NLD and ABFSU gatherings and the Syriam bomb explosion on 7 July 1989 17.10 NLD gathering and the bomb explosion on 10 July 1989 17.11 Arrests on 10 and 13 July 1989: Moe Maung Maung, Tun Kyi, Maung Myat Tu 17.12 NLD plans for Martyrs Day ceremonies on 17 July 1989 17.13 The SLORC ban 17.14 Arrests on 17 July 1989: Zaw Gyi alias Than Zaw alias Nwe Thagi, Nyi Nyi U, Moe Kyaw Thu 17.15 Other arrests on 17 July 1989: Moe Hein, San Maung, Zaw Win Aung, Kyaw Win Moe, Htay Lwin, Khin Maung Tin, Thet Naing alias Htet Naing, Kyaw Lwin Nyunt alias Kyaw Lwin Myint 17.16 Aung San Suu Kyi on summary trials and allegations of NLD involvement in the Syriam bombing 17.17 Arrest on 18 July 1989: Aung Zeya 17.18 SLORC special measures to prevent Martyrs Day gatherings 17.19 The NLD cancels its Martyrs Day gathering 17.20 Student Demonstrations and arrests on 19 July 1989 17.21 Arrests on 20 July 1989 of the NLD leadership: Aung San Suu Kyi, Tin U, Daw Myint Myint Khin, Maung Moe Thu alias U Moe Thu, U Thaw Ka alias U Ba Thaw, Ma Theingi, Myint Shwe, Soe Myat Thu, Moe Myat Thu 17.22 21 July 1989: The SLORC explains the arrests 17.23 Other arrests on and since 20 July 1989 17.23.1 In Yangon on 20 July 1989: Aye Lwin, Ko Hla Twe alias U Hla Htwe 17.23.2 In Mandalay on 25 July 1989: Ko Aung Win alias U Aung Win, Daw Cho Cho Than, Ko Aung Kyaw Myint, Daw Aye Aye Than 18. DEMONSTRATIONS AND ARRESTS ON AND SINCE THE 8 AUGUST ANNIVERSARY 18.1 Arrest on 11 August 1989: U Tin Myo Win 19. NUMBERS OF ARRESTS SINCE 20 JULY 1989 20. SLORC ALLEGATIONS ASSESSED APPENDIX: Prisoners of Conscience and Possible Prisoners of Conscience Arrested Since 18 September 1989 GLOSSARY OF ACRONYMS, CURRENT AND FORMER PLACE NAMES AND NAMES OF ETHNIC GROUPS, AND BAMAR KINSHIP TERMS USED IN PERSONAL NAMES.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Amnesty International (ASA 16/23/89)
Format/size: pdf (481K)
Date of entry/update: 18 August 2005


Title: MYANMAR (BURMA): NEW MARTIAL LAW PROVISIONS ALLOWING SUMMARY OR ARBITRARY EXECUTIONS AND RECENT DEATH SENTENCES IMPOSED UNDER THESE PROVISIONS
Date of publication: August 1989
Description/subject: "Since January 1989, especially since March and again in June and July, the tempo of political arrests has accelerated in Myanmar as the main student groups and political parties have organized more frequent and larger gatherings at which opinions increasingly critical of the authorities have been voiced. In a document made public on 14 July 989. Myanmar (Burma): Call for Dissemination and Enforcement of International Standards on the Use of Force, Amnesty International expressed the hope that martial law restrictions on civil liberties currently imposed by the armed forces in Myanmar would not be enforced through the deliberate killing of demonstrators, contrary to international standards on the use of force and the right to life. On 17 and 18 July 1989 the martial law administration empowered the military to impose death sentences on political opponents, including people not accused of violence, through summary judicial procedures that fall short of international standards for fair trial and are contrary to the safeguards enshrined in the Myanmar Judicial Law. These deficiencies include allowing the death penalty for non-violent, not clearly criminal or else only minor offences, elimination of the right of appeal to a higher court and apparent curtailments of the right to a defence, particularly as regards the calling of defence witnesses. The new martial law provisions could lead to arbitrary executions and Amnesty International has called on the authorities not to execute three political prisoners sentenced to death under them on 27 July 1989 The three are accused of involvement in a terrorist bombing. They have 30 days in which to ask the Myanmar armed forces Commander-in-Chief to review their sentences. Unless he orders their reprieve, they will be hanged..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Amnesty International (ASA 16/15/89)
Format/size: pdf (71K)
Date of entry/update: 19 August 2005


Title: BURMA: EXTRAJUDICIAL EXECUTION, TORTURE AND POLITICAL IMPRISONMENT OF MEMBERS OF THE SHAN AND OTHER ETHNIC MINORITIES
Date of publication: August 1988
Description/subject: "This document presents new evidence of a consistent pattern of unlawful killing and ill-treatment of members of Burma's ethnic minorities by security forces, including the army and police. It is a follow-up to a document published in May 1988, Burma: Extrajudicial Execution and Torture of Members of Ethnic Minorities. That document presented evidence of unlawful killings and torture of members of the Karen, Kachin and Mon ethnic minorities. This document provides information about allegations of similarly severe violations of the human rights of members of the Shan ethnic minority. It also describes the cases of two or three Shan who may be prisoners of conscience. There is information suggesting they may be imprisoned because of their ethnic background and their non-violent political opinions or peaceful exercise of the right to freedom of expression..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Amnesty International (ASA 16/10/88)
Format/size: pdf (158K)
Date of entry/update: 30 April 2006


Title: “This moment” (English, Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
Date of publication: 01 June 1960
Description/subject: "It was past midnight of December 1, 1958, around the strike of one. […] The beam from a flashlight shining into the mosquito net accompanied by the sound of shoes woke my sleeping wife and me. “Maung… get up… I think it’s the police. They’ve come right into the bedroom.” “Huh… really?” I said, rolling from bed to outside of the net and coming face to face with Special Branch Inspector Ko Aung Hpe, holding the flashlight, and U Ba Thaung, at the head of the bedstead......In this manner on December 2, 1958 I arrived at the Insein Prison Annexe. From there, starting with Insein Central Prison I arrived at Prome Prison, Thayet Prison, and then the unforgettable Coco Island Prison. […] My life is now simply the life of a section 5 detainee who cannot count the days to his release. Even people who have committed serious crimes like murder, armed robbery and rape can count the days to their release on their fingers. But how can I count? Now I doubt the expression “a moment”. The term “a moment” that I and you the reader use is a moment with a time limit. However, “that moment” of which the police officers speak has no limit. “That moment” is a moment without end or beginning. This moment that has lasted one year, five months and 12 days has for me been a lifetime..."
Author/creator: Maung Chit Yi (trans. Nick Cheesman)
Language: English, Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
Source/publisher: Section five from Coco Island
Format/size: pdf (648K-reduced version; 5.9MB-original - higher resolution for Burmese text)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs19/%93This_moment%94-en+bu.pdf
Date of entry/update: 21 August 2014