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Chapter 2: Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment or Punishment

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2.1 Introduction

There can be little doubt that instances of torture, and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, continue to occur around the world.  However the practice of torture is most widespread, severe and blatant, in those States which are under an oppressive military regime, such as exists in Burma.

International law provides clear prohibitions on the use of torture, as well as other, potentially less severe, forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.  Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) provides that “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”  This prohibition was repeated in the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Article 7, in much the same terms.  However, neither the UDHR nor the ICCPR provided any definition of “torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment”.  In 1984 the UN adopted the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT).  This convention went some way to providing a definition of torture. Article 1(1) defines torture as:

“Any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity.” [1]

When a person is arrested on suspicion of political dissent they are often hooded, handcuffed and brought to one of Burma’s many interrogation centres where they are questioned and often brutally tortured.  [Photo: AAPPB]

Burma is a signatory to the UDHR, however the State has neither ratified the ICCPR nor the 1984 CAT. [2]  Nevertheless, torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, when practiced as state policy, is in violation of customary international law. The practice of torture is widely regarded as extreme contempt/disdain of the human being. Protection from torture is hence considered a fundamental human right, and has as such obtained the status of Jus Cogens in international human rights law.  Thus despite not being a party to either the ICCPR or CAT, Burma is bound by international law and liable for any incidents of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment within its borders which are inflicted by or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official.

It also seems apparent that the many incidents of torture inflicted by the SPDC are in violation of Burma’s domestic legislation.  Although not explicitly prohibiting ‘torture’, the 1861 Burmese Penal Code (1957 edition) Articles 330 and 331 prohibits “hurt” and “grievous hurt” during interrogation for the purposes of obtaining a confession or information. Articles 323 and 325 also prohibit the “hurt” or “grievous hurt” of detainees generally. In addition to these Articles regarding detainees, Article 166 prohibits public servants from unlawfully injuring anyone while discharging their duties.

Despite these legal prohibitions, the use of torture throughout Burma remains widespread.  Reports from 2007 reveal almost daily incidents of torture or other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment against the Burmese population by various branches of the SPDC military regime. Torture is particularly being inflicted on persons who have been detained on suspicion of anti-government activities, including political prisoners and villagers living in areas where there is ongoing armed conflict. 

As such, the pro-democracy ‘Saffron revolution’ of 2007 brought a brutal response from the junta, and in the wake of the demonstrations many more incidents of torture were reported.  These gross human rights violations were inflicted on all types of supporters of the pro-democracy movement, even on Buddhist monks. Despite their revered status in Burmese society, monks were subject to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment both on the streets and in detention. (For more information, see Chapter 11: The Saffron Revolution – The 2007 Pro-Democracy Movement).


2.2 Methods of Torture

The practice of torture can take many forms, and the widespread practice of torture by the junta throughout Burma reveals the use of many such methods.  The partial list of incidents for 2007, below, demonstrates the use of a variety of torture methods, sometimes depending on the situation in which the torture is inflicted, or the reasons behind the torture.  It is also evident that in many cases victims have endured several forms of torture and other cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment.

Methods of torture can be considered in different categories.  The definition of torture provided by the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) 1984, outlines torture as “severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental”. [3] Thus torture encompasses both the physical infliction of pain and also psychological suffering, inflicted on the victim or their relatives.  Some methods, like sexual torture, often involve both physical and mental pain and suffering for the victim.


Physical Torture

The use of physical methods of torture is widespread in Burma, with the primary aim being the infliction of pain either as a means of punishment, intimidation, or obtaining information.  As well as causing extreme pain, these incidents are also often mentally distressing for the victim.  Physical beating is the most common form of torture inflicted by officers of the military regime and while such incidents often occur in detention or in prison, widespread beatings of forced labourers have also been reported throughout 2007.  Such physical beatings can be so severe that they lead to the death of the victim, especially where medical treatment is unavailable or deliberately restricted.

The Airplane: Political prisoners are made to assume the position of an airplane.  Prisoners must hold this position while imitating engine sounds for extended periods of time, often until collapse.  Most are beaten in this position.  [Caption and photo: AAPPB]

Beatings often involve the use of sticks or gun butts, and victims are often tied or restrained in such a manner that they are unable to defend themselves from such attacks.  Illustrative of this is an incident reported in 2007 where the victim’s legs were held in a pillory (Kawpok) throughout the night, preventing him from defending himself against beatings and also forcing him to remain in an uncomfortable position for a prolonged period of time. [4]  Similarly during interrogations detainees are often forced to assume ‘stress positions,’ whereby they are made to remain in a certain position for prolonged periods of time, causing immense pain and discomfort.  One such example, of which there were several reports throughout 2007, is when the victim is forced to imitate riding a motorcycle, which over prolonged periods of time causes intense pain in the legs and arms.  In this scenario victims are often also forced to imitate the noise of a motorcycle, adding to the humiliation and psychological aspect of the torture. [5] 

Another common form of torture adopted by SPDC forces throughout 2007 was holding the victim in water for prolonged periods of time.  In one such incident, the detainee was fastened to a pole and immersed in a lake for seven hours a day throughout his detention, [6] and in a separate incident NaSaKa officers forced a detainee to stand in water throughout the whole night. [7]

As mentioned above, torture can be so severe as to lead to death.  To further compound the effects of torture, victims are often denied medical treatment for their injuries, both inside and outside of prisons. 

As well as torture leading to the death of a victim, severe physical torture is also inflicted on victims before being killed by SPDC personnel.   In one such incident the victim was killed by police who tied him to a log and rolled him down a hill. [8]  In another incident particularly severe physical torture was inflicted on a school boy before he was executed, the SPDC soldiers had repeatedly jabbed him in the eyes and mouth with a knife. [9] (For more information, see Chapter 3: Extra-Jjudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions). 

In 2007, following the pro-democracy demonstrations, beatings were also commonly inflicted on protestors throughout Burma as part of the regime’s heavy-handed response and in order to intimidate the population and suppress support for the pro-democracy movement. The beating of protestors on the streets was largely carried out by government backed thugs in civilian clothing, such as USDA and Swan Arr Shin members.  No one was spared the beatings, as victims ranged from members of political opposition movements, civilian bystanders and even monks. [10] (For more information, see Chapter 11: The Saffron Revolution – The 2007 Pro-Democracy Movement). 


Sexual Torture

Rape, humiliation and other forms of sexual torture have been widely used by SPDC forces throughout 2007. Whilst incidents have occurred against both men and women, the practice of sexual torture of women is most widespread.  (For more information, see Chapter 14: Rights of Women).  Such abuses are often psychologically damaging for the victim, in addition to the physical pain involved. 

Sexual humiliation is sometimes adopted as a form of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.  In one such example from 2007, a Muslim girl was forced to parade around naked as punishment for marrying without permission after failing to pay the required bribe to the authorities.  Such treatment is particularly degrading and cruel for the individual, and also disturbing and degrading to the Muslim community who considered it an insult to their religion. [11]

Rape is also commonly adopted by SPDC forces, especially in conflict areas, both as a form of torture on its own, but also accompanied by beatings, other forms of torture, and in certain instances leading to death.  In one incident, a Rohingya woman was gang raped by NaSaKa personnel during interrogation about her son, eventually falling unconscious and dying. [12]  In a separate incident, a forced labourer who was raped by SPDC army personnel later died when she was forced into an abortion.  [13] Some cases are particularly brutal; a report by the Karen Women’s Organisation released on 12 February 2007 described one case in which a young woman was gang raped in her home by four soldiers, who then killed her by shooting her in the vagina. [14]


Psychological Torture

Most torture or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment also entails psychological suffering for the victim.  Sometimes this is the main aspect of the torture, designed to distress and humiliate the victims.  In one incident an SPDC commander smeared the blood of three village pigs on 10 villagers, taking photos of the victims in this state. [15]  Such treatment is often disturbing for the wider community. For instance, in its response to the pro-democracy demonstrations in 2007, SPDC personnel inflicted brutal and humiliating treatment on monks, despite their revered position amongst the Burmese people. (For more information, see Chapter 11: The Saffron Revolution – The 2007 Pro-Democracy Movement). 

In Burma’s prisons, a frequently used method of psychological torture is holding political prisoners incommunicado, which causes both them and their family psychological suffering and heightens their feelings of vulnerability and isolation. This psychological torment is often compounded by the authorities regularly giving false hope of release.  In 2007, several reported cases describe how relatives of political prisoners were informed of the imminent release of their family member, only to have the promise withdrawn on the supposed day of release. [16] 


2.3 Torture During Detention

The use of torture remains prevalent in Burma’s prisons and detention centres. In 2007 reports of torture of prisoners were common, as was the torture of detainees at the hands of the police, NaSaKa, SaYaPa, army and other SPDC forces.  Torture during detention is particularly widespread as a result of the detainee being isolated and under the total control of SPDC officers, making the incident more traumatising for the individual due to feelings of helplessness.  The widespread occurrence of torture during detention is particularly concerning when coupled with the arbitrary detention of civilians, many of those detained and tortured have never had a trial, been brought before a judge, or even charged with an offence (For more information see, Chapter 1: Arbitrary Detention and Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances).  The frequency/regularity of such abuses, and the implications for the Burmese population, was noted in a January 2007 report by AAPP which stated that:

“People in Burma have to live their lives without any security as a result of lawlessness. They have to live in a situation under which they can be arrested at any time and jailed for a long sentence, or even die during interrogation in police stations and interrogation camps.” [17]

The Motorcycle: Political prisoners are made to assume the position of riding a motorcycle while making engine noises.  They must hold this position for extended periods of time, often until collapse.  They are beaten while in this position.  [Caption and photo: AAPPB]

The torture of prisoners occurs regularly and seemingly as part of the established system.  In 2007 it was reported that from the moment of arrest a detainee must pay bribes at every stage to avoid beatings and torture.  Thus in many cases it seems that the systematic torture of prisoners is adopted simply for the purposes of extortion. [18] In the prisons, torture is carried out at the hands of the prison authorities and so-called ‘officers of the prison’, who are in fact ordinary prisoners appointed by the prison authorities as discipline keepers.  A large extent of abuse/torture of political prisoners is inflicted by these ‘officers of the prison’. Furthermore, reports suggest that the SPDC is continuing to utilise a strategy of torture by proxy in employing ‘criminal’ prisoners as thugs to beat political prisoners.[19] International law is very specific on the fact that the State is still implicated in torture regardless of whether it physically carries out the treatment. Article 1 of CAT makes the point that torture is still relevant to those incidents where the “suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of, or with the consent or acquiescence of, a public official”.[20]

Of particular concern are the continuing reports throughout 2007 of deaths in detention following the use of excessive force and torture by various SPDC forces.  AAPP reported in January 2007 that six political prisoners had died in Burma’s prisons during 2006, [21] and it seems that the continuing use of torture against prisoners and prison conditions will continue to lead to deaths.  Torture is also frequently a cause of death in police custody.  A statement released by the AHRC in August 2007 reported three such deaths (that were known of) in July alone. [22]  In one reported incident, the detainee, who had been arrested the previous night, was found dead by his brother the following morning with extensive wounds on his face and blood reportedly poured from his mouth when the body was moved.  [23]

Accompanying the widespread torture of detainees throughout Burma, and encouraging the continuation of such abuses, is the impunity with which the perpetrators operate.  For instance, in the above incident the officials claimed the victim had died of a cold and warned relatives against filing a suit over the death. [24]  The AHRC have commented that:

“The increasingly frequent accounts of bloody assaults by the police and other local security forces speak to the fearlessness with which these personnel operate. Although the military regime pretends to invite complaints against state officers, in reality there are no avenues through [which] they can be entertained properly – least of all where they involve allegations of murder – as all parts of the state apparatus are compromised and controlled.” [25]

Concern for this culture of impunity, which can be seen as contributing to the practice of torture during detention, is echoed by the Special Rapporteur for human rights in Burma, who observed that “grave human rights violations meet with impunity and are even authorised by law.”  The Special Rapporteur’s report to the Human Rights Council in February 2007 went on to note concern for the denial of basic rights during detention, and reported receiving numerous reports of torture or ill-treatment during pre-trial detention and deaths in custody. [26]


2.4 Prison Conditions

In addition to the widespread beatings and torture that detainees in Burma face on a daily basis, the dire living conditions in prisons and detention centres often contribute to the suffering, sometimes to the extent of also constituting torture or other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.  Following the Special Rapporteur’s visit to Burma in November 2007, he reported “appalling detention conditions which fail to meet international standards on the treatment of prisoners and in fact constitute cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment prohibited under international law.” [27]

Often prisoners are denied access to medical treatment when they become ill, compounding the effects of torture and ill treatment that are rife within the prison system.  A report from Chin State revealed that denial of basic medication or admission to the prison hospitals had led to the death of several inmates. [28]  Such conditions are particularly damaging when combined, as they often are, with forced labour, lack of adequate food and harsh punishments.  In addition prisoners are sometimes held in degrading or inhuman conditions, such as the use of ‘dog cells’, i.e. confining detainees to cells designed for holding dogs.   [29]

In 2007 it was reported that prison funds were cut and that prisons were expected to raise their own funds.  Naturally this leads to deteriorating prison conditions. AAPP reported that this development has in turn led to an increase in corruption, extortion and the use of forced labour in prisons. [30]  Regarding the health care situation, AAPP’s report on prison conditions found that “the prisons routinely deny the right to health care,” and that “the cause for being admitted to the hospital is not the health condition of the patient prisoner, but the amount of money he pays”, revealing that health care was used as another source of extortion.” [31]

This systematic lack of medical care may amount to torture where it is deliberately inflicted on victims, for example for purposes of extortion as noted above.  It has been reported that political prisoners are denied treatment more often than their fellow inmates, [32] and following the pro-democracy demonstrations in September 2007 several demonstrators who received serious injuries during their arrest were reportedly denied any medical treatment whilst in detention. [33]  The deteriorating conditions in Burma’s prisons throughout 2007 are in part due to the continued absence of the International Committee of Red Cross, which has been barred by the SPDC from carrying out prison visits since late 2005. [34] (For more information, see Chapter 10: Freedom of Assembly, Association and Movement).


2.5 Torture during Forced Portering and Forced Labour

The use of forced labour by the SPDC continued to be widespread throughout Burma in 2007, despite being illegal under Law No. 1/99. [35]  Both prisoners and villagers have regularly been forced to perform work for SPDC forces including clearing roads, building army camps, and portering for the army (For more information, see Chapter 5: Forced Labour and Forced Conscription).  In some instances the forced labour itself may constitute torture or other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, for example where villagers are forced to act as human shields or minesweepers for the SPDC army (For more information on the use of landmines, see Chapter 4: Landmines).  Reports of such abuses were prevalent throughout 2007, in February 2007 for example Free Burma Rangers reported that in Karen State, “the Burma Army’s use of forced labour and human minesweepers is widespread. In many villages this forced labour happens on a daily basis.”   [36]

Forced labour is often accompanied by beatings and torture. The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Burma reported in 2007 that, “In addition to the very dangerous and arduous nature of the tasks, forced labour imposed by the Army is routinely accompanied by other forms of serious human rights abuse.” [37] Incidents throughout 2007 certainly support this assertion, beatings of forced porters and other forced labours were regularly reported, and in some instances forced labourers were also subjected to other forms of torture or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.  In one such incident in Kyauk Taw Township, Arakan State, two women were pulled out from amongst the forced labourers working on an SPDC army owned rubber plantation, and then gang raped by the soldiers, one later dying during a forced abortion. [38]

Villagers, especially in rural areas, also continue to endure forced labour at the hands of SPDC forces.  Many are forced to perform portering duties, work at SPDC army camps, or act as sentries watching for rebel forces in the area.  These villagers are often beaten during their work, or punished if they try to avoid the forced labour.  In one incident in March 2007 for example, a villager who had run away in an attempt to avoid forced portering duty in Buthidaung Township, Arakan State, was later caught by SPDC soldiers and severely tortured, breaking one of his legs. [39]  Forced labour, and the torture and ill-treatment that invariable accompany it, is then an inescapable daily reality for many villagers in rural areas.

Prisoners have been used for forced labour in Burma since 1962. These prisoners are forced to build infrastructure, work in quarries, and porter for the army.  In 2007 reliance on such labour was as common as ever, with a reported 91 labour camps throughout the country. [40]  Compounding the harsh conditions of forced labour, torture and ill-treatment is rife throughout the labour camps. Prisoners unable or unwilling to pay bribes face continual beatings and torture from the moment they arrive.  Deaths occur regularly in prison labour camps, either through exhaustion or injury due to the dangerous work conditions, or as a result of being beaten to death by the guards.  There are even reports of forced prison labourers committing suicide by jumping into quarry pits.  Reports have also suggested that political prisoners have been assigned to hard labour camps and harsh conditions in order to destroy their dignity. [41]  In February 2007 accounts from a group of prisoner porters who had escaped showed that they faced similar conditions to those in the labour camps.  They were forced to carry army supplies to the frontline without food or rest, and were then beaten and kicked whenever they showed signs of tiredness, fearing execution when they could no longer keep pace. [42]


2.6 Torture of Villagers in Ethnic Minority Areas

Villagers in ethnic minority areas are particularly susceptible to torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, especially in areas where armed rebel groups operate.  As noted above, villagers in rural areas are often the victims of forced labour. Particularly in areas where SPDC forces are fighting rebel groups are villagers often forced to work as sentries, porters or human shields for the SPDC.  Moreover, in recent years several human rights groups have documented the SPDC’s use of violence against women from ethnic minorities. The continuation of violence against ethnic minority women was in 2007 confirmed by a report by the Karen Women’s Organisation, detailing widespread torture and rape of Karen women.   [43]

The 2007 report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Burma considered the effect of military operation in ethnic areas, noting that:

“In addition to the heightened risks posed by the widespread availability of small arms and light weapons and anti-personnel mines, the killing, terrorizing and displacement of civilians is often part of a deliberate strategy to separate ethnic armed groups from their civilian populations... Violence against unarmed civilians by the Myanmar military is a very serious concern.” [44]

This concern is justified by later reports in 2007. In one report, a refugee from a village in Thaton District described how SPDC soldiers destroyed his fields, planted mines, and shot at villagers who were found outside the village.  He had also been arrested by the SPDC five times and severely beaten and tortured. [45]

In 2007, reports revealed that the threat faced by villagers living in ethnic minority areas had even led to some rural villagers being deserted.  For instance, in January 2007 it was reported that the village of Bayoun Hgae in Mon State had been deserted as villagers decided to move to a bigger village where they believed they would face less torture.  These villagers had often been beaten by the local SPDC infantry battalions because they suspected them of having links with armed rebel groups operating in the area. [46]  In fact, the junta uses one of the main reasons behind the junta’s torture of villagers, accusing them of aiding the rebels simply because they are the same ethnicity as the rebels operating in that area.  In one report a villager in Mon State recalled that, “our villagers are oppressed in many ways by the military if the junta loses in the fighting.” [47]


2.7 Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment or Punishment – Partial list of incidents for 2007

Arakan State

Buthidaung Township

On 7 January 2007, Mohammed Ismail, a shopkeeper in Khadur Para village, was severely beaten by 5 policemen.  The victim had requested payment for goods the policemen had taken, following this he was severely beaten and then detained in the SPDC army camp in Thinga Net village, Buthidaung Township.  Whilst detained at the camp he was fastened to a pole and immersed in a lake for at least 7 hours a day.  On 10 January 2007 he was released following payment of a 60,000 kyat bribe.   [48]

On 25 January 2007, Nurul Ullah of Saykan Para village was detained by police after he refused to part with his cattle to plough confiscated Rohingya land.  He was then taken to Zaydi Taung police station where he was detained and tortured for 3 days, then finally released after paying a 30,000 kyat bribe. [49]

On 1 March 2007, Jamal Hussain was tortured by soldiers of the SPDC army (transferred to) Taung Bazaar village tract, after he tried to avoid being forced into porter duties.  He was later arrested and tortured by the soldiers, breaking his leg and leaving him in a serious condition requiring treatment in Buthidaung general hospital. [50]

On 4 March 2007, Nurul Hoque, an edible oil manufacturer, was arrested in Pauktaw Pyin village, Taung Bazaar village tract.  Hoque was accused of producing edible oil from mustard seeds by using a grinding machine without permission.  He was taken to Taung Bazaar police station where he was tortured and detained for three days, and then released after paying a 69,000 kyat bribe to the police. [51]

On March 29 2007, a Rohingya woman in Buthidaung Township was tortured, gang raped and then killed by NaSaKa officers.  Amena was alone in her house in Sindiphrang when the NaSaKa forced their way in and questioned her about her son, who they accused of being involved with Rohingya political groups.  She was then tortured and gang raped, falling unconscious before being killed.  The body was handed over to relatives 2 hours later, but the doctor in-charge at Buthidaung hospital refused to do a post mortem. [52]

On 7 April 2007, police from Nyaung Chaung village forced Liala Begum, an 18 year old girl, to walk around 3 villages naked apart from a ‘Tami’ covering her lower parts.  The girl was subjected to this degrading treatment as punishment for marrying without the permission of the NaSaKa. Her family had been unable to pay the bribe needed for permission.  The Nyaung Chaung VPDC Chairman complained against the degrading treatment but to no avail. [53]

On 26 December 2007, it was reported that U Ithiriya, a young monk sentenced to over 7 year’s imprisonment for his role in the monk-led pro-democracy demonstrations in Sittwe, is in deteriorating health.  U Ithiriya was severely tortured during interrogation by the SPDC military security forces (SaYaPa) whilst in Sittwe prison. As a consequence he was suffering from serious physical and mental health problems which have been compounded by the denial of treatment and a move to poorer conditions in Buthidaung prison. [54]


Kyauk Taw Township

On 4 July 2007, 2 women were gang raped by troops from IB #374. The two women were forced labourers at the army-owned rubber plantation where they were picked up by the soldiers from IB #374, which is led by Cap. Ko Ko Oo. One of the victims, Ma Pyu Pyu Khaine, later died on 17 August 2007 during an abortion ordered by the commanding officer of MOC #9. [55]


Maungdaw Township

On 10 January 2007, Mohamed Ayub (17), a Rohingya shop owner, was severely beaten by the NaSaKa of No.1 camp, Maungdaw Jetty. Ayub was beaten when he asked for compensation for crockery broken by the NaSaKa which they had borrowed without payment.  He was then detained in the NaSaKa camp, where he was severely tortured, his legs held in a pillory.  He was released after 4 hours and forced to sign a blank paper. [56]

On 1 February 2007, Jaffa Alam, a Rohingya businessman, was tortured by NaSaKa personnel at the Bangladesh border.  Although Alam had documents with the relevant permission, his eight goats, worth 280,000 kyat, were seized by the NaSaKa.  He was then tied up and taken to the NaSaKa camp where he was detained and tortured for 2 days, leaving him critically injured. [57]

On 14 February 2007, Mahfuzul Karim, a Rohingya businessman, was arrested and later tortured by forces from the SPDC’s military security force (SaYaPa). He was charged with human trafficking, smuggling and using a Bangladeshi mobile phone.  However, Mahfuzul Karim, of Maungdaw Township, is known to conduct legal business, buying goods from Bangladesh to sell in Maungdaw town and using a legal passport to cross the border.  Following his arrest Karim was taken to the SaYaPa camp where he was severely tortured, suffering serious injuries to his nose.  He was released after 28 hours following payment of a 1,100,000 kyat bribe to a SaYaPa officer. [58]

On 18 February 2007, Deen Mohamed died as a result of being tortured in police custody.  He had been arrested on 19 December 2006 by NaSaKa in Rathedaung Township, along with about 50 other Rohingya boatpeople on their way to Malaysia.  They were taken to Maungdaw police station where they were severely tortured.  Mohamed suffered serious injuries as a result of torture in custody and on 18 February he was sent to Maungdaw government hospital for treatment.  He died within few minutes of being admitted. Eyewitnesses stated that there were bruises, wounds and bloodstains all over the corpse. [59]

On 5 March 2007, Sultan Ahmed, a local fisherman, was arrested and severely tortured by NaSaKa from Area #6.  Ahmed was arrested after the NaSaKa boarded his fishing boat on the Naf River, conducting a thorough search.  Despite finding nothing they accused him of smuggling fuel from Bangladesh, and then sank his boat. In detention Ahmed was severely tortured before being released the next day. [60]

On 11 April 2007, police arrested, tortured and then killed Nabi Hussain, from Ngar Yant Chaung village, Maungdaw Township.  Hussain was initially arrested for allegedly breaking a promise of marriage.  He was taken to the local police station where he was severely beaten. They later tied his hands and feet to a log and rolled him down a hill, killing him. [61]

On 15 April 2007, Osman, a young Rohingya, was detained and tortured by NaSaKa personnel from Sector #8. Osman was arrested along with a girl whom he was accused of being in love in with. They were taken to the NaSaKa camp, and the girl was released 2 hours later after being threatened and denying being in love with Osman. The NaSaKa detained Osman for a further week, torturing him at the detention centre on the accusation that he was in love with the girl. He was finally released on 22 April 2007 after the VPDC Chairman vouched for his good moral character. [62]

On 21 May 2007, Mohammed Rafique (15) died of injuries sustained during torture by NaSaKa from the Pa Dinn Nasak camp. 7 NaSaKa personnel had arrested him from his house for allegedly being in possession of a mobile phone, which he did not have. He was released 10 days later. Whilst in custody he had been severely tortured, evidenced by the many marks covering his body. Despite receiving medical treatment after his release Rafique died of the injuries inflicted by the torture. [63]

On 10 July 2007, Nabi Hussain died after being tortured by SaYaPa forces.  Hussain, a cattle trader from Bawli Bazaar village tract in Maungdaw Township, had been arrested on 9 July 2007 for moving cattle from Buthidaung without notifying the authorities.  He was taken to the SaYaPa camp, where he was severely tortured during the whole night.  After being handed over to his guardians in a critical condition the next morning, he was then taken to Maungdaw General Hospital but died of his injuries at around 11 am. [64]

On 23 August 2007, NaSaKa in area #4 under the command of Major Nay Myo arrested and brutally tortured 13-year-old schoolboy Abul Kalam (13) in place of his father.  Abul Kalam is the son of Noor Hussain who has a case against him for an unpaid loan.  The boy was taken to Taungbro camp in Maungdaw Township and the NaSaKa said he would not be released until the father surrenders. [65]

On 23 October 2007, Abu Talek was interrogated and severely tortured by NaSaKa personnel, after they had exhumed the body of his one month old baby from a Rohingya Muslim cemetery. Talek, from Gyikan Pyin, Maungdaw Township, was tortured following claims by the new VPDC chairman that the baby was not his daughter. Abu Talek later fled to Bangladesh fearing arrest and more beatings. [66]

On 17 November 2007, a NaSaKa officer raped and killed an 11 year old girl, Taslim Ara, whilst she was grazing cattle on a hillside near Maungdaw Township.  The culprit, nicknamed Myint, was then arrested by the NaSaKa captain from area #1 in Maungdaw Township.  He was tortured for tainting the image of the NaSaKa and died on 25 November 2007 of severe injuries. [67]

On 20 November 2007, a 17-year-old Hindu girl, Dorgoni, was severely beaten by NaSaKa personnel in Maungdaw Township, Arakan State. Dorgoni, daughter of Bandiya from Bawli Bazaar village, was beaten after she scolded a NaSaKa officer for teasing her. She was taken to a clinic for treatment, but the NaSaKa ordered the doctor to release her early because they did not want the case to become more complicated. [68]


Minbya Township

On 28 November 2007, a farmer from Minbya Township, Arakan State, was severely assaulted by the people’s militia.  Than Hla Htun, from Kapi Kakei village, Minbya Township, was returning home from his farm when he was accosted by the people’s militia commander, Myo Naing, and severely beaten for no reason other than a personal grudge.  He was later treated for his injuries in Minbya general hospital. Complaints from his father to the Township PDC were ignored. [69]


Rathedaung Township

On 7 March 2007, Mohammed Islam, a Rohingya, was detained and tortured by NaSaKa from camp #25, on the false accusation of crossing the Burma-Bangladesh border.  Due to his aunt’s illness, Islam was a day late returning from his permitted visit to Maungdaw Township.  The NaSaKa physically tortured him and forced him to stand in water for a whole night, releasing him the following day after he paid a 50,000 kyat bribe. [70]


Sittwe Township

On 18 September 2007, U Warathami, a monk who took part in a protest in Sittwe Township, was severely beaten by SPDC soldiers.  When the protests were broken up by SPDC soldiers, U Warathami, from Dhammathukka monastery, was set upon by troops who tied his hands behind his back and repeatedly beat him.  Describing the incident U Warathami said: “They restrained me and hit me in the face and also on my head which started to bleed. They also kicked me with their boots. I had cuts on my head and my ears and several of my teeth were knocked out of place.” Following this the monk was taken to the office of the chief of Sittwe police with 2 other monks where he was tied up with a belt and again beaten repeatedly, this time until he lost consciousness. [71]

On 19 October 2007, three persons were arrested by SPDC intelligence forces on the allegation that they had been passing information out of the country about the recent anti-junta demonstrations.  The three were severely tortured before being handed over to the Sittwe military camp.  It is believed they were later transferred to Insein prison, Rangoon. The victims were:

  1. Mohammad. Yunus;
  2. Nurul Islam; and
  3. Mohammad. Eliyas. [72]


Taungup Township

On 4 January 2007, Htwee Maung, a trishaw driver, was arrested in Myepone of Taungup Township after attending a variety show by the Tahkainglonesein Troupe. After police failed to arrest a rowdy group that had gathered they arrested Htwee Maung in their place. The following morning at 6:00 am he was sent to the local hospital by Station Officer Myo Thant. However on arrival he was already dead. Examining the severe injuries to his head and over his right eye, the doctor described it as a case of “excessive force” by the police. Despite a rally by around 200 local trishaw drivers, no investigation was conducted and the victim’s family was threatened not to complain. [73]

On 22 October 2007, two NLD members of Taungup Township reported they had been tortured during interrogation before being given prison sentences. U Than Pe and U Tun Kyi were tortured in an interrogation centre in An Township.  Their faces were covered with wet cloths and during the interrogation their blood pressure was monitored to estimate how much more torture could be inflicted before they would die. [74]

On 14 December 2007, Ko Kyaw Min Naing a member of NLD in Taungup, was force-fed an unidentified syrup during police interrogation. The NLD member was arrested by Taungup police in the evening of 14 December 2007 on suspicion of involvement in anti-government activities.  During interrogation the police pointed a dagger into his mouth and then poured two glasses of an unidentified syrup down his throat, which caused him to fall unconscious for over 24 hours.  Ko Kyaw Min Naing, who was released without charge, has continued to suffer stomach pain.  Out of fear of retribution from the government, authorities at Taungup hospital refused to give him a test that could identify the ailment [75]


Chin State

On 12 February 2007, it was reported that torture and poor conditions in Len Tlang prison labour camp has led to the death of several inmates.  There are reportedly around 53 inmates in Len Tlang prison labour camp, and they are regularly tortured at the hands of the prison officials. Particularly severe torture is inflicted on those prisoners not capable of performing the forced labour ordered by supervisor Khin Maung Thein.  It was also reported that sick inmates are denied medical care, and often beaten if they are too sick to work.  These conditions are believed to have led to several deaths in the camp. [76]


Human rights defenders Myint Naing and Maung Maung recovering after they were attacked by who they believe were members of the SPDC-affiliated USDA.  [Photo: NCGUB]

Irrawaddy Division

On 11 January 2007, Myint Thein was arrested by police for interrogation while he was visiting his father’s house in Pantanaw.  The following day his family were told by police that Myint Thein had died of malaria.  However his wife told Myint Aye, of Human Rights Defenders and Promoters (HRDP), that her husband had not been suffering from malaria and that his dead body had displayed clear signs of torture. [77]

On 18 April 2007, two human rights activists were severely beaten by a group of about 100 people in Henzada Township.  The two activists, Myint Naing and Maung Maung Lay, were beaten after attending a training session in Oakpon village.  Activists claim that the assault was masterminded by the head of the USDA, U Nyunt Oo, who was seen using a walkie-talkie at the time of the assault.  The victims were left severely injured, and received surgery at Henzada hospital before being transferred to Rangoon hospital.  Myint Naing later revealed a lack of adequate treatment whilst at Rangoon General Hospital, where his requests for medication for his slingshot wounds were repeatedly ignored. [78]  On 24 July 2007, Myint Naing was sentenced, for inciting unrest.  He received a sentence of 8 years imprisonment by Judge Aung Min Hein in Henzada Township court. [79]


Kachin State

On 30 July 2007, Maran Seng Aung (22) was beaten to death by special drug squad police in Myitkyina Township.  He was sitting by the road near his home at around 9:30 am when 3 officers on motorcycles came and bound his wrists before assaulting him and then taking him away in an auto rickshaw.  By 5:30 pm his dead body was in the local hospital, and his mother was warned against complaining about the death. [80]


Karen State

The body of 19-year-old Saw Bwe Kyaw Htoo who was tortured and then executed by SPDC army soldiers from LIB #371 in Toungoo District, Karen State.  [Photo: KHRG]

On 2 January 2007, Ti Reh, the headman of Phukra village, was reportedly shot following a KNLA raid on the SPDC military outpost near the village.  A KNLA commander claimed that Ti Reh was shot on the orders of the LIB #250 camp commander, following interrogations and beatings.  The village secretary and preacher were also detained and interrogated at the camp, their fate unknown. [81]


Mergui/Tavoy District

On 21 February 2007, a private from SPDC IB #282, led by Bo Kyaw Moe Lwin, attempted to rape villager Naw Saw Khee Base.  The private entered her house in Lock-Theing village, Klein-Aung Township at night, and attempted to rape her in her bedroom.  He left after Naw Saw Khee Base managed to defend herself and beat him on the head with a torch. [82]


Nyaunglebin District

On 5 February 2007, the SPDC commander from Kyo Gyi camp came to the village of Kyo Gyi, Kyauk Kyi Township, and accused the villagers of attacking them the day before.  His troops captured 10 villagers, shot 3 of the village pigs, then smeared the blood on the villagers and took photos of them.  In addition, the villagers were forced to pay 20,000 kyat each and the camp commander threatened to kill them should news of the incident get out. [83]


Papun District

On 27 February 2007, SPDC soldiers based near Wa-klay-htu, Lu-thaw Town, shot villagers and beat their knees. [84]

The body of 24-year-old Saw Dtar Hlar Loo, who had been tortured and executed by SPDC army soldiers from LIB #371 in April 2007 in Karen State.  [Photo: KHRG]


Toungoo District

On 15 April 2007, troops from SPDC LIB #371 and LIB #372 entered Yaw Taw Bur and captured and tortured to death Saw Bwe Kyaw Htoo, a 19-year-old school boy.  The SPDC soldiers jabbed a knife into his eyes and mouth before executing him.  See the photograph shown above. [85]

Also on 15 April 2007, soldiers from LIB #371, MOC #5 captured, tortured and finally executed Saw Dtar Hlar Loo, a 24-year-old villager of Tantabin Township. He had been out working in his fields, tending to his rice crop when the arrest took place.  See the photograph reproduced below. [86]


Karenni State

In February 2007, six porter prisoners escaped to the Thai-Burma border from the SPDC LIB #117 who had forced them to carry ammunition and army supplies.  The prisoners had all been transferred to Mahtawgoo prison in Loikaw, Karenni state, to serve as porters.  They described being kicked in the chest and beaten on the back when they tired, and there was no food for the prisoner porters whilst they worked. [87]

On 10 April 2007, FBR relief worker Saw Lee Reh Kyaw, was tortured and later executed by SPDC army troops. Saw Lee Reh Kyaw was captured on 8 April 2007 by LIB #427, when they attacked the village of Ha Lee Ku where he was providing medical treatment and gathering information about human rights abuses.  He was shot in the leg and badly wounded, the SPDC troops then took him to their headquarters where he was interrogated, tortured, and shot dead. [88]


Mandalay Division

On 1 April 2007, a policeman verbally and sexually harassed a woman, as well as kicking the woman’s mother in Northeast Mandalay (Chan Aye Tharzan) Township.  The policeman, Naing Linn Htun, from the Pathein Hyi police battalion was reportedly drunk on security duty when he began harassing the woman and then repeatedly kicking the woman’s mother.  When a crowd gathered demanding him to stop, he fired two rounds with his M-16 in the air to scare them away. [89]

On 15 June 2007, U Than Lwin (70) was assaulted after leading a prayer meeting for the release of political prisoners.  Local council members and members of USDA, along with groups of thugs known as “Swan Arr Shin” organised by the councils, prevented Than Lwin and his group from praying at pagodas in Madaya Township.  A local official also warned them against using a prayer hall at a local monastery, however they went ahead with their prayer meeting.  On leaving the monastery they were surrounded by the group, when one man emerged from the crowd and hit Than Lwin in the face with a knuckle duster before running off and hiding in the USDA office.  Than Lwin sustained serious facial injuries, including a broken nose and left cheek, needing to be transferred to Mandalay General Hospital for an operation.  USDA staff refused police entry into their office to investigate the matter. [90]

On 29 July 2007, Ko Kyaw Htay died in custody at the Meiktila police station, after being tortured.  He was arrested by 10 officers on 27 July 2007 on suspicion of stealing a motorbike, and was beaten from the moment the officers arrested him. The victim’s sister, Ma Hla Linn Sein, said his dead body showed signs of a severe beating: “There were wounds on his wrists that looked like they were from handcuffs and he had bruises all over his body, particularly around his pelvis.”  Two friends who went to visit him at the station just hours before his death were not allowed to see him, though they could hear him screaming from the interrogation room. [91]

Also on 29 July 2007, a pagoda official (59) from Meiktila died in police custody whilst being transferred to Meiktila prison.  U Ohn Kyaing was arrested, along with 6 other pagoda officials, after the diamond umbrella topping of a local pagoda had been stolen.  The officials are believed to have been interrogated, beaten and tortured whilst in detention, and U Ohn Kyaing was then refused medical treatment when he became ill. [92]

On 9 October 2007, the family of NLD member Win Shwe were informed that he had died during detention.  Win Shwe had been arrested on 26 September 2007 and detained at Plate Myo police station, near Mandalay.  AAPP reported that Win Shwe died under interrogation, his family were given no details of his death and his body was cremated.   [93]

On 14 December 2007, it was reported that police had tortured a shop owner in Mandalay’s police station #14.  The young man had been arrested following pro-democracy demonstrations and interrogated for information regarding the Buddhist monks’ involvement in the protests.  The report described how the victim was beaten throughout the night for 3 nights, and forced to assume a stress position whereby he was forced to imitate riding a motorcycle. [94]


Mon State

On 6 January 2007, SPDC soldiers arrested about 50 plantation owners and workers from Kwan-tamoi-tae-tat village and Pauk-pin-kwin village because they had food supplies with them when checked.  The SPDC army sometimes allows food supplies, yet at other times it does not.  Following these arrests 5 of the villagers were thrown into water, beaten and severely tortured. [95]

On 15 January 2007, it was reported that the Bayoun Ngae village had been deserted.  Villagers had reportedly moved to the larger village of Han-gan, Ye Township, to avoid torture by the military.  The villagers had suffered beatings by SPDC IB #106 and LIB #343, and often prevented from farming, following accusations of links with armed rebel groups. [96]

This photograph depicts Ko San Win in Palaing Japan (Japanese Well Hospital) as he was being treated for the injuries that he had sustained while portering for the SPDC. [Photo: IMNA].

On 20 March 2007, a 19 year old boy from Ma Gyi village was severely beaten for trying to escape patrol duty. The other men on patrol had already deserted and rather than stay alone Mg C-- M—ran away also.  When he was captured by soldiers from IB #31 they beat him until he bled from his mouth, his injuries were very serious and he remained in Ye Township hospital for several months receiving treatment. [97]

In early July 2007, Ko San Win, a hired porter from Three Pagoda Pass was severely beaten by an SPDC army officer from IB #18.  Ko San Win was beaten because he was struggling to carry his load due to exhaustion, caused by lack of food and water.  He was severely beaten on the head, face and body with the butt of a gun, suffering extensive cuts and bruises to his legs and body.  After the beating, he was left in a hut in Maesali village.   [98]

On 25 August 2007, Tun Naing, the son of a senior NMSP army officer, was assaulted by Cap. Hla Khaing of SPDC IB #586.  Tun Naing was severely beaten with a stick when he visited his native village Toe Thet Ywar Thit in Khaw-zar Sub-Township, southern Mon State.  He was asked where he was going and who his father was, before being assaulted.  After the beating he received treatment from a private medic. [99]


Pegu Division

On 8 February 2007, Maung Lin Lin Naing was arrested by police in Daik-U Township, accused of theft.  According to the police record he was found hanged in the Phadoe police lock up at 4:00 pm 9 February 2007.  The police disposed of his body on 10 February 2007, and attempts by family and local officials to obtain information about his death and the whereabouts of his body were ignored.  Furthermore the family were warned that if they were to complain about the death they would be “shut-up.” [100]

On 17 October 2007, Daw Kyi Kyi Nyunt was arrested and subsequently detained and tortured for 2 days by police in Pegu Township, Pegu Division.  She was interrogated by district police chief Bo Yee and second in command U Aung Lwin and U Myint Swe.  Daw Kyi Kyi Nyunt described being forced to sit on a stool whilst the police kicked her.  The police also stomped on her hair, kicked her back, removed her spectacles and repeatedly beat her during questioning, leaving her barely able to walk. [101]


Rangoon Division

On 25 May 2007, 30 members of the NLD were beaten in the Kyaukhtutgyi pagoda in Bahan Township whilst praying for the release of NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi.  They were attacked by 15 people from the military, pro-government militias and members of the USDA, who used weapons hidden in their jackets.  The attack was led by Lae Lae Win Swe, Secretary of the Tamwe USDA. [102]

On 21 February 2007, Ko Aung Tin Win, a political prisoner, was severely beaten after he refused to sit in front of a jail officer in accordance with Insein prison rules.  Ko Aung Tin Win, sentenced to 50 years for unfounded connections to an unlawful organisation, was repeatedly kicked and beaten by prison officer U Tin Maung Oo.  Complaints of inhumane treatment by this prison officer have been made by several political prisoners, but no action has been taken against him. [103]

On 18 March 2007, SPDC authorities and USDA members arrested Ko Naing Oo, in North Okkalapa Township, for fighting with his wife.  The following morning his dead body was discovered by his brother, Ko Min San, in the local Peace and Development Council office.  SPDC authorities claimed he had died of a cold, however Ko Min San said his brother’s body showed clear signs of beatings, with extensive bruising and cuts.  According to Ko Min San: “When the body was lifted to be moved, blood poured out of his mouth… The slash on his skull was obvious as well as the other wounds on his face.” [104]  Subsequently the family of the victim were not informed of the post mortem report nor court hearings when they occurred, and the victim’s father has been threatened by local police not to sue over the death. [105]

On 8 September 2007, AAPP expressed their concern for the fate of several 88 Generation Student leaders arrested following the pro-democracy demonstrations of 19 August 2007.  It is believed that they were being held in Insein Prison, Rangoon, however no official information had been given at this time on the whereabouts or treatment of those arrested.  Unconfirmed reports suggested that 88 Generation leader Kyaw Min Yu had been tortured to death by SPDC interrogators, and 2 other leaders, Kyaw Kyaw Htwe and Min Zeya, had been hospitalised due to severe torture. [106]

On 20 September 2007, it was reported by a released prisoner that 4 members of the 88 Generation Student group where in Insein prison hospital, following torture during interrogation.  The four prominent activists had been arrested on 21 August 2007 following pro-democracy protests.  The released prisoner reported that the 4 activists had been tortured under interrogation and subsequently placed in the prison hospital, with screens placed around their beds blocking them from view.  The 4 individuals were reported to be:

  1. Min Ko Naing;
  2. Mya Aye;
  3. Kyaw Min Yu (a) Jimmy; and
  4. Kyaw Kyaw Htwe (a) Marki. [107]

On 26 September 2007, police in Rangoon responded violently to continuing demonstrations, beating several protestors.  Police armed with shields and batons were seen beating monks, leaving several with their heads bleeding.  It was also reported that on Bahan Road police beat monks, nuns and civilians with bamboo sticks as they attempted to flee. [108]

On 27 September 2007, monks where tortured and subject to degrading treatment, when SPDC soldiers raided monasteries in Rangoon in the early hours of the morning.  SPDC soldiers reportedly fired shots inside the monasteries, beat monks and forced them to kneel down or walk like dogs.  Many of the monks were then arrested and taken to unknown locations. [109]

On 28 September 2007, authorities at Kyaikkasan detention centre cut off electricity to a room of around 200 detainees and then began pumping water into the room.  The police then beat the detainees, who had been arrested following earlier protests in September.  They were then taken from the room one by one and interrogated. [110]

On 29 September 2007, two unidentified youths died in detention at Rangoon City Hall following severe beatings by soldiers there.  The two men were arrested during the protests and were beaten by soldiers from SPDC IB #66. Following their deaths, the soldiers reportedly removed any valuables, before transporting the dead bodies away from Rangoon City Hall during the night. [111]

On 3 October 2007, Daw San San Myint, the Chairperson of the Burmese Housewives’ Association, was released after over a month in detention since being arrested on 24 August 2007 during fuel price protests.  She described being beaten both during her arrest and whilst in detention at Kyaikkasan interrogation centre and later in police brigade #3, Hmawbi township.  Daw San San Myint sought medical treatment upon being released, but the authorities prevented her from receiving any treatment.    [112]

On 13 October 2007, a released detainee reported that a 6-year-old child had been beaten by the authorities in Kyaikkasan interrogation centre. The child had been arrested along with his family near Kyaukhtutgyi Pagoda and then held in Kyaikkasan interrogation centre.  Detainees who tried to protect the child were also beaten by the authorities. [113]

On 29 October 2007, Ko Than Naing was stabbed and beaten by officials from the WPDC in Dagon Township, Rangoon.  His mother had made a complaint to ward #55 PDC, after having an argument with her son. However, the WPDC officials, along with Swan Arr Shin members, reacted more harshly than she expected, stabbing Ko Than Naing and beating him.  He was then detained at the local police station for two weeks before being sent to Insein prison.  He was charged with possession of the knife that had been used to stab him, and forced to sign a confession. [114]

On 13 December 2007, it was reported that Maung Ye Myat Hein, a 17-year-old mathematics student arrested on 10 October 2007 over pro-democracy demonstrations, was being tortured in detention.  His mother, Daw San Aye, reported that her son had been beaten during interrogations and also forced to assume the stress position of riding a motorcycle. [115]


Kyauktan Township

On 21 September 2007, it was reported that 46 activists were subject to torture while in detention at police battalion #7, near Kyauktan Township, Rangoon.  The activists, who were arrested on 19 August 2007 following demonstrations against the fuel price rises, had been beaten whilst in detention and faced extreme physical and mental torture during interrogation.  The detainees are being held in appalling conditions: in addition to inadequate water and food supply, they have received no healthcare or medicine, no ventilation, and no mosquito nets.  Several of the detainees reportedly suffered from severe pain due to beatings received during their arrest.  Those detained by police battalion #7 at the time of the report where:

  1. Myo Khin;
  2. Tun Myint;
  3. Kyaw San;
  4. Tin Myint;
  5. Zaw Zaw Aung;
  6. Kyi Phyu;
  7. Aung Min Naing (a) Mi Thwe;
  8. Myo Min Maung;
  9. Tin Maung Kyi;
  10. Aung Htoo;
  11. Thein Myint Tun;
  12. Ngwe Soe;
  13. Min Hein Htet;
  14. Tun Nay Aung;
  15. Zaw Win;
  16. Zar Ni Maung;
  17. Thite Min;
  18. Soe Kywe;
  19. Aung Kyaw Oo;
  20. Sai Min Thein;
  21. Win Zaw (a) Tu Pi;
  22. Thant Zin Myo;
  23. Thant Zin Myint;
  24. Myint Aye;
  25. Ye Pe Kyin;
  26. Phyo Min Kyin;
  27. Tin Maung Oo;
  28. Min Aung;
  29. Tin Zaw Oo;
  30. Win Sai;
  31. Thant Zin Oo;
  32. Kyaw Soe Win;
  33. Sann Win;
  34. Thein Htay;
  35. Nyont Win;
  36. Min Min Oo;
  37. Saw Lwin;
  38. Aung Zaw Oo;
  39. Lu Aye;
  40. Kyaw Thu Yein;
  41. Tun Tun Win;
  42. Myint Hlaing;
  43. Saw Way Moe;
  44. Than Naing;
  45. Tin Maung Naing; and
  46. Zaw Nyunt. [116]


South Okkalapa Township

In the early hours of 26 September 2007, SPDC forces led by a 2-star general raided Ngwe Kyar Yan Monastery in South Okkalapa Township. Witnesses reported how 3 trucks filled with SPDC soldiers arrived at the monastery at about 12:15 am. After being refused entry they forced their way into the monastery, crashing through the gate with a truck.  They then beat monks, laymen, women and children using bamboo sticks whilst verbally abusing them.  They forced monks to sit on the floor and then kicked them in the head. Some monks were also subject to degrading treatment, by being forced to imitate dogs. Following the attack, which lasted around 90 minutes, 60 monks and 40 laymen were forced into the trucks and taken to an unknown location. [117]

On 3 November 2007, Ko Ko Win died of serious wounds inflicted by SPDC authorities and their civilian thugs. During the protests on 27 September 2007, police and Swan Arr Shin beat his head and back, causing him to be hospitalised with severe headaches and vomiting.  He was sent to Thingangyun hospital on 5 October 2007, where he died a month later. [118]


Thingangyun Township

On 27 September 2007, SPDC forces entered Maggin monastery in the middle of the night, beating several monks.  The monastery had previously been raided and the abbot and 4 senior monks arrested for taking part in demonstrations over the sharp rises in fuel prices.  On this occasion the SPDC forces entered the monastery at midnight, uniformed and armed with batons and guns, beating novices and mishandling HIV/AIDS patients being cared for at the monastery. [119]


Sagaing Division

On 8 August 2007, Ko Maung Htun died after being tortured in police custody in Indaw Township. He had been arrested on 7 August 2007 at Nabar train station where he worked, accused of stealing instant noodles and a soft drink.  When his father U Htun Ya visited him on the morning of 8 August 2007 he reported that his son looked well, yet by the evening he was informed of his death.  U Htun Ya was shown his son’s dead body before it was cremated on 10 August 2007, and saw severe bruising across his back.  Doctors at the local hospital confirmed that Ko Maung Htun had been brought in for treatment shortly before his death; they revealed that he arrived at hospital at about 3:15pm but started to lose consciousness and died at about 4:45pm.  The doctors however refused to comment on the nature of his injuries. [120]


Shan State

In early 2007, 5 villagers from Zizawya Khe village in Naa Poi village tract, Laikha Township, were arrested and beaten.  The victims were:

  1. Naang zing Wa, female, age 36;
  2. Zaai Zit-Ta, male, age 43;
  3. Zaai Kalaa, male, age 39;
  4. Zaai Su, male, age 45; and
  5. Zaai Zaw Phae, male, age 37. [121]

Naang Zing Wa was tied up, interrogated and severely beaten until she lost consciousness.  Zaai Zit-Ta was tied up but managed to escape unharmed despite the SPDC troops shooting after him.  Zaai Kalaa was interrogated and beaten in the village, and then later beaten to death near Zalaai Khum village.  Zaai Su and Zaai Zaw Phae, the village headman and deputy, were interrogated and then forced to work as porters. [122]

In June 2007, a young Lahu woman (18) from Ho Naa village, Murng-Paeng Township, was gang raped by troops from SPDC LIB #360.  The woman was returning from collecting bamboo with her brother when they were stopped by LIB #360.  After a few questions the soldiers then held the woman, stripped her, and took turns to rape her repeatedly, causing her to faint several times.  The brother recalled the commander being called ‘Kyi Aung,’ and they were threatened not to tell anyone about the incident or they would be killed. [123]


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