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Offices of Burma's Democratic Opposition have been repeatedly
raided by Thai police.

Date: January 17, 1997

On January the 9th Thai police in plain clothes raided the ABSDF
Supply Office arresting two supply officers and Win Naing Oo, the
author of 'Cries from Insein'. 

Six officers and a Burmese speaker with Indian features came to
the Supply Office in the morning of January 9th and searched the
office. They took away a number of sheets of paper containing
telephone/fax numbers of the offices of other democratic forces
in Thailand, of the media, embassies, and individuals, etc.   

The three ABSDF students were taken to the notorious IDC
(Immigration Detention Center) in Bangkok. After endless
negotiations and the kind intervention of a Thai group working
with Burmese refugees, the three were sent to Maesot where they
were released after further negotiations and a payment. Many
people from Burma who enter Thailand illegally, when caught, are
regularly deported through Burma check points along Thai-Burma
border. People with political backgrounds are persecuted by the
Burmese military.

There have been many incidents in which ABSDF members with active
duties are sent back to Burma against their will, where they face
harsh penalties from the SLORC.

The ABSDF has confirmed information that a Burmese Indian is
working with Thai officers. There is a strong possibility that
the Indian-looking man who came with the police is the same

Today January 17, two plainclothes police officers and a woman
came into the ABSDF Foreign Affairs office in the late morning.
The ABSDF students there at the time had to pay 20,000
Baht(US$800) to avoid arrest. The officers forced all of the
office staff to remain downstairs and did not allow anyone to use
phones. Finally, they cut the telephone wires and left. It took
ABSDF members sometime to realize what was wrong with the phone.
About an hour after the ABSDF Foreign Affairs office was raided, the
police also went to the NCGUB office which is situated in another part
of the town. Two plainclothes officers and a woman came. After a
while they left saying they'd come back with other police
reinforcemnet. They have however not yet returned. 

In the afternoon on the same day, two plainclothes officers and a woman
came to the Supply office and demanded that the occupants pay them 10,000
baht (US $400). No one except three patients who are receiving medical
treatment from a Bangkok hospital were present at the time so they
couldn't give them anything. The police therefore took away the Mackintosh
computer that the supply office was using. 

The ABSDF has not been able to determine whether two plainclothes
officers and the woman who came to NCGUB office were the same
officers as those who raided the foreign affairs office. Nor have
we ben able to clearly determine the motive behind the repeated
raids. However extortion appears to be a likely explanation, in
which case further raids of these offices are a likely scenario. 

We suspect that the raids which took place today have resulted
from the phone list that was removed from the supply office on
the 9th. If this is the case there is a strong likelihood that
raids of other opposition offices will take place in the near

All Burma Students Democratic Front (ABSDF)