Archive for November 11th, 2007
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AI Index: ASA 16/038/2007 (Public)
News Service No: 218
9 November 2007
Myanmar: New evidence of mass detentions, hostage taking, deaths in custody and disappearances
Amnesty International has today written to Myanmar‘s authorities with a briefing paper outlining grave and ongoing human rights violations committed since the start of September’s crackdown.
The briefing comes ahead of next week’s visit to Myanmar by the UN’s Special Rapporteur on human rights Paulo Sergio Pinheiro.
“Widespread arbitrary detentions, hostage taking, beatings and torture in custody and enforced disappearances clearly disprove any claims from the Myanmar Government of returning normality,” said Catherine Baber, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific programme director.
“Instead of protesting about interference in sovereignty, the Myanmar authorities must honor their promises of ‘full cooperation’ with the UN through full access for Mr Pinheiro and full delivery of concrete human rights improvements identified by the UN Human Rights Council and Security Council.”
Amnesty International’s key concerns include:
- The continued detention of some 700 political prisoners including at least 15 individuals sentenced to prison terms of up to nine and a half years;
- An official policy of taking family members and friends as “hostages” to force others to turn themselves in;
- Deaths in detention due to severe beatings and others forms of torture;
- Appalling detention conditions including the denial of adequate food, water and sanitary facilities as well as the keeping of detainees in “dog cells”;
- Enforced disappearances since the crackdown, including at least 72 individuals whose whereabouts the authorities have failed to account for;
- Failure by the Myanmar authorities to account for the number of people killed during the crackdown;
- Evidence of marksmen atop military trucks and bridges using live ammunition to target individual demonstrators during the crackdown resulting in the death of at least two students and the serious wounding of others;
- Ambulances being denied access to victims on the streets during September’s demonstrations and private medial clinics ordered not to treat the injured.
Amnesty International is calling on Myanmar authorities to account for all those killed and those who have disappeared. The authorities must also provide the Special Rapporteur with a full list of all those detained and sentenced since the crackdown as well as full and unrestricted access to all detention facilities and crematoria.
For a full copy of the briefing, please see: http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGASA160372007
The Monk’s Tale: Death in detention
| U Thilavantha was killed after the Myitkyina monastery raid
“We only dared go back into the monastery in the morning. The whole building looked fairly messed up with doors that had been kicked open. We saw red stains on the floor… and solid red blobs that appeared to be blood.”
U Thilavantha was a respected and much-loved member of his local community. He spent several years studying as a monk in Sri Lanka and was the Deputy Abbot of the Yuzana Kyaunghtai training school in Myitkyina, a city in the far north of Myanmar. He gave English classes to local children. He was around 35 years old.
On 25 September, the day after Myitkyina’s monks had taken part in peaceful marches calling for an end to restrictions imposed by the military government, U Thilavantha’s monastery was raided by police. He was beaten and arrested. Once in detention, he received further beatings.
He died of his injuries the following day. Officials at the local hospital were pressured into declaring that he had suffered a heart attack.
The monastery in which U Thilavantha lived had originally housed 142 monks. On 31 October, only 11 remained.
|Listen: The monks recount the full story of the military’s brutal attack|
Monks from the training school in Myitkyina have told Amnesty International of the day the police destroyed their home. The monks have described the events of the 25 September that led to the death of U Thilavantha and the beating of many others.
“The authorities cut the phone lines at about five in the afternoon. At ten past nine that night, they crashed open the main gate of the monastery with their military trucks,” recalled one of the monks.
“They started beating the monks as soon as they came in. They kicked open the main door of the monastery after they crashed open the gate. They beat us indiscriminately as soon as they got inside the building. It was a preventive strike so that the monks could not resist the attack. They ordered us to stand against the wall and hit the monks who did not obey their orders with sticks…”
လူရွင္သခ်ၤဳိင္းမ်ားအေၾကာင္း စာအုပ္မွာ ေနလင္း (အ.က.သ)က သူ႔ရဲ႕ေထာင္တြင္းအေတြ႔အၾကံဳေတြကို ေရးသားထားၿပီး ဗမာႏိုင္ငံလံုးဆိုင္ရာ ေက်ာင္းသားသမဂၢအဖြဲ႔ခ်ဳပ္ရဲ႕ႏိုင္ငံျခားေရးရာ ေကာ္မတီက ထုတ္ေ၀ေပးထားပါတယ္။
စာမ်က္ႏွာ (၁၆၅)ထိကို ဒီေနရာမွ ကူးယူပါ။ nay_lins_luu-shin_thin-gyine.pdf
ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံက ေထာင္ေတြမွာ ဘယ္လို ၾကံဳေတြ႔ရတယ္ဆိုတာေတြကို ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံသားေတြနဲ႔ ကမာၻက အစစ္အမွန္အတိုင္း သိေစခ်င္တဲ့ ရည္ရြယ္ခ်က္နဲ႔ ဒီစာအုပ္ကို ျဖန္႔ေ၀ေပးဖို႔ အျခား ဘေလာ့ဂ္ေတြနဲ႔ Email ေတြမွာလည္း ေတြ႔ေနရပါတယ္။ အာဏာရွင္စနစ္ တိုက္ဖ်က္ပစ္ ဘေလာ့ဂ္မွာလည္း ေဖာ္ျပခြင့္ေပးဖို႔ စာေရးသူ ကိုေနလင္းနဲ႔ စာအုပ္ထုတ္ေ၀သူတို႔ကို ဒီေနရာကေန ခြင့္ေတာင္းလိုက္ပါတယ္။
စာအုပ္ပါ မာတိကာကို ေဖာ္ျပလိုက္ပါတယ္။
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