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IRCT: Burma - Torture and Repressio (r)

Subject: IRCT: Burma - Torture and Repression

/* Written  6:19 am  Jan 23, 1994 by DEBRA@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx in igc:hrnet.asia-pac */
/* ---------- "IRCT: Burma - Torture and Repressio" ---------- */
Torture 2/93
Quarterly Journal on Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and
Prevention of Torture
Volume 3, Number 2
After General Saw Maung, Army Chief of Staff of Myanmar, and
his colleagues staged a coup d'etat, declared martial law,
and formed the State Law and Order Restoration Council
(SLORC) in 1988, the troops of Mayanmar inhumanly have gunned
down peaceful demonstrators and have killed, injured and
tortured thousands of people.
Both physical and psychological torture methods were
commonly applied in centres of the different intelligence
agencies, of which there are at least six. Beating,
slapping, punching the face or body, kicking with combat
boots, and blows with the knees against the sides, chest, or
back are the consistent methods of physical torture.
Beatings were carried out repeatedly in many cases after
protecting the body with several rice bags in order to
reduce external marks, but there was no protection against
external injuries. Wooden sticks, rifle butts, or truncheons
were also used to strike the face, chest, and back.
Ordinary beatings were sometimes followed by beatings with a
truncheon while the victim was in the motorcycle position
(being forced to maintain a crouching rider's position).
Some victims were subjected to the iron road - an iron bar
is rolled up and down their shins with increasing pressure.
Some underwent walking on the seashore - walking on the
knees on sharp gravel, and some motorcycle riding -
squatting for long periods in the position of driving a
motorcycle. One victim was nearly suffocated by having a
large plastic bag placed over the head and trunk.
Other torture methods included:
*prolonged standing in water
*prolonged exposure to sun or intense cold
*burning with cigarettes
*rolling of iron or bamboo rods or bottles along the shin
*near drowning through immersion in water
*hanging by the feet from the ceiling
*beating with a whip or club while suspended
*putting salt, salty water, urine, or curry powder in open
wounds after cutting the skin or whipping
*electric shocks applied to fingertips, toes, ear lobes,
penis, or testicles
*submersion of the head in water until near suffocation
*rape and sexual assaults
*deprivation of sleep, food, and water
*solitary confinement in dark cells for long periods
*continuous exposure to powerful light or constant noise
*intimidation with a pistol
*intimidation while stripped naked for interrogation
Apart from physical torture, psychological pressure has been
used to break the prisoner's will and force a confession.
Several prisoners were interrogated continuously for many
days by a shifting team of interrogators. This technique has
sometimes been combined with deprivation of food, water, and
sleep, false accusation, witnessing others being tortured,
threat of torture to self and relatives, and sham execution.
As a result of severe beatings or untreated gunshot wounds
during demonstrations or after arrest, many deaths occurred.
Some prisoners reportedly died as a consequence of torture,
e.g. from fractures after beating, cardiac arrest, and
neurogenic shock due to intense pain. All these methods of
torture affect not only the bodies, but also the minds of
the victims.
Dr. Myint Cho
Mayanmar (Burma)