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Torture and ill-treatment: reports of incidents in Burma
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Websites/Multiple Documents

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

Individual Documents

Title: TRAINED TO TORTURE: Systematic war crimes by the Burma Army in Ta’ang areas of northern Shan State (March 2011 - March 2016)
Date of publication: 28 June 2016
Description/subject: CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS: "...This report provides evidence that the Burma Army is committing war crimes – in particular torture, shelling of civilian targets, and enslavement of civilians as porters and human shields -- on a widespread, systematic scale during its ongoing offensives in Ta’ang areas of northern Shan State. The fact that the crimes are being committed with complete impunity, not only by locally based battalions, but increasingly by battalions deployed under combat divisions deployed from central Burma, indicates clearly that the crimes are being authorized from the central command. TWO is gravely concerned that the Burma Army, which remains exempt from civilian oversight under the current constitution, is not only continuing its offensives in the ethnic areas in defiance of the “peace process”, but is also systematically committing war crimes against the ethnic peoples in flagrant violation of international humanitarian law. It is urgently needed for the National League for Democracy (NLD) to act to curb the military’s power, its criminal practices and impunity. Simply sharing power with the Burma Army under the current government will only maintain the military status quo, perpetuating the war and condemning the ethnic peoples to untold ongoing suffering..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Ta'ang Women's Organization (TWO)
Format/size: pdf (2.85MB)
Date of entry/update: 29 June 2016

Title: Myanmar: Extrajudicial killings continue with impunity
Date of publication: 05 June 2015
Description/subject: "1. The Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) would like to bring the realities of extrajudicial killings in Myanmar to the attention of the United Nations Human Rights Council. The government’s claim that the State is in a democratic reform process is belied by the prevailing reality of extrajudicial killings, abuse of power, and impunity in Myanmar.... 2. The Myanmar semi-civilian government, which came to power after decades of Military rule, has failed to prosecute extrajudicial killers who committed numerous such crimes under the umbrella of the Military; and it continues to protect perpetrators of more recent extrajudicial killings. The military in Myanmar has long enjoyed impunity for offences committed against civilians, and despite recent political changes, prosecutions of errant soldiers are extremely rare... 3. The ALRC, along with its sister organization, the Asian Human Rights Commission, has documented numerous cases where the Myanmar police have tortured civilians to death while in custody. Mostly, there is complete impunity. On the few occasions such acts are “punished”, the cases are handled under the Myanmar Police Force Maintenance of Discipline Law and not under criminal law. Furthermore, Executive intervention at all levels of the Judiciary has made court proceedings a time-consuming masquerade that invariably delivers injustice. The ALRC would like to share with Council the following recent cases of extrajudicial killings, abuse of power, and impunity...".....Written NGO statement to the 29th Session of UN Human Rights Council.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asian Legal Resource Centre via UN Human Rights Council (A/HRC/29/NGO/44)
Format/size: pdf (196K)
Alternate URLs: http://ap.ohchr.org/documents/dpage_e.aspx?c=125&su=129 (check here for new documents)
Date of entry/update: 15 September 2015

Title: Hpapun Incident Report: Violent abuse in Bu Tho Township, April 2014
Date of publication: 20 November 2014
Description/subject: papun (Mutraw) District... This Incident Report describes events in Bu Tho Township, Hpapun District in April 2014, including violent abuse and injury due to shooting. On April 2nd 2014, Border Guard Force (BGF) Officer Tha Beh summoned the village head of A--- village to meet him after the village head had organized the delivery of a letter on behalf of a Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) officer to the officer’s former private, who is now a BGF private, under Officer Tha Beh’s command. Upon their meeting, Officer Tha Beh punched and hit the village head of A---, as well as the messenger who sent the letter. When the village head of P---, who had also been summoned by Officer Tha Beh, arrived, he was punched and hit as well. The village head of P---brandished a machete, after which one of Officer Tha Beh’s privates, who had accompanied him, shot the village head of P---, hitting him in the hand and accidently shooting Officer Tha Beh in the leg..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (263K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs20/14-50-i1_0-red.pdf
Date of entry/update: 20 November 2014

Title: BURMA/MYANMAR: Police and village leaders torture a villager without apparent reason
Date of publication: 26 October 2014
Description/subject: "...When the police station refused to accept the case, the victim opened a case by direct complaint to Kangyi Daunk Township Court. During the trial process, Kangyi Daunk Township Police Station submitted a letter dated 18 September 2014 that the Myanmar Police Force punished the police who were involved in the crime under Section 22 of the Myanmar Police Force Maintenance of Discipline Law. They requested to have their names removed from both the court record and the criminal case file and the court did so. In the judgment on 2 October 2014, it said that the court cannot find evidence that the household head and administrative officer had been involved in beating the victim, and that the police had been punished in accordance with the Myanmar Police Force Maintenance of Discipline Law. Therefore, the court decided to dismiss the case..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asian Human Rights Commission
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 26 April 2015

Title: Toungoo Interview: A---, August 2013
Date of publication: 24 July 2014
Description/subject: This Interview with A--- describes events occurring in B--- village, Thandaunggyi Township, Toungoo District in August 2013, including arbitrary arrest, detention and violent abuse. On June 26th 2013, Tatmadaw Infantry Battalion (IB) #30 Battalion Deputy Commander Hsan Htun punched and kicked A--- and hit him with his gun before ordering him to report to the nearby Tatmadaw camp. A--- sustained serious wounds to his body, which he still suffered from at the time of the interview, and was partially blinded in one eye. A---‘s wife, a local school teacher, had attempted to negotiate with Hsan Htun when he continued to kick A--- while he was receiving initial medical treatment from a school committee member, and she subsequently reported the incident to members of the Burma legislature and to UNICEF. Despite his physical suffering and inability to work, A--- continued to be present at the Tatmadaw meetings regarding his incident. Ultimately, Operations Commander (G3) Ye Htunt provided A--- with 10,000 kyat (US $10.32) as compensation. No action was taken against Battalion Deputy Commander Hsan Htun.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (733K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/13-86-t1-i1_pdf.pdf
Date of entry/update: 05 December 2014

Title: “I Thought They Would Kill Me” - Ending Wartime Torture in Northern Myanmar
Date of publication: 09 June 2014
Description/subject: "...For the past three years, Myanmar authorities have systematically tortured Kachin civilians perceived to be aligned with the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), Fortify Rights said in a new report released today. Fortify Rights believes these abuses constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity. The government of Myanmar should intervene immediately to end the use of torture in the conduct of the ongoing war in Kachin State and northern Shan State, and it should credibly investigate and prosecute members of the Myanmar Army, Myanmar Police Force, and Military Intelligence who are responsible for the serious crimes described in this report. The 71-page report, “I Thought They Would Kill Me”: Ending Wartime Torture in Northern Myanmar, describes the systematic use of torture and other cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment or punishment (“ill treatment”) of more than 60 civilians by Myanmar authorities from June 2011 to April 2014. Members of the Myanmar Army, Myanmar Police Force, and Military Intelligence deliberately caused severe and lasting mental and physical pain to civilians in combat zones, villages, and places of detention in Kachin State. While some impacts of these crimes are irreparable, none of the survivors interviewed by Fortify Rights have received adequate medical care..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Fortify Rights
Format/size: pdf (5.8MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.fortifyrights.org/downloads/Fortify%20Rights_Myanmar_9_June_2014.pdf
Date of entry/update: 09 June 2014

Title: Incident Report: Villager tortured by Tatmadaw commanders in Papun District, December 2012
Date of publication: 27 June 2013
Description/subject: "This incident report was submitted to KHRG in January 2013 by a community member describing events occurring in Dwe Lo Township, Papun District in December 2012. The community member who wrote this report described an incident that occurred on December 28th 2012, when a female buffalo stepped on a landmine that was placed by Karen National Liberation Army soldiers. Coincidently, on the same day, Saw U---, also known as Saw P---, a 34 year old man from T--- village, went to take a bath in Buh Loh River and while he was on his way back home, he encountered two Tatmadaw soldiers, who called Saw U--- over to them. They were Tatmadaw LID #44, IB #9 Company Commander/ Camp Commander Ko Ko Lwin and Platoon Commander Kyaw Thu. As soon as Saw U--- reached them, Company Commander Ko Ko Lwin punched him in his chest and Platoon Commander Kyaw Thu punched him ten times across both sides of his face. While the soldiers did not ask Saw U--- any questions, they accused him of being in the KNLA; according to the community member who wrote this report and spoke directly with the villager, Saw U--- is not a soldier, but a villager who works on farms."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (272K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg13b37.pdf
Date of entry/update: 10 August 2013

Title: Torture and killing in Thaton District
Date of publication: 26 October 2012
Description/subject: On June 25th 2012 in Pa'an Township, Thaton District, Saw R---, 52, was killed and Saw A---, 67, tortured by Border Guard Battalion #1014 soldiers, after being accused of being spies for the Karen National Union (KNU). This news bulletin includes a description of the incident written by a source close to the family of the deceased man, which was received by KHRG on September 23rd 2012.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (137K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs21/KHRG-2012-10-26-Torture_and_killing_in_Thaton_District-en.pdf
Date of entry/update: 08 November 2012

Title: Extreme Measures: Torture and Ill Treatment in Burma since the 2010 Elections (English report; Burmese video)
Date of publication: 28 May 2012
Description/subject: Executive Summary: "This report documents the Government of Burma’s torture and ill treatment against its own people since the 2010 elections. This report demonstrates that the Burmese government continues to commit these abuses despite being bound to international human rights treaties and norms. Furthermore, the lack of domestic legislation prohibiting torture, the absence of an independent judiciary, and an ineffective Human Rights Commission contribute to a climate where torture and ill treatment are perpetrated with impunity. From January to December 2011 alone, ND-Burma’s member organizations documented 371 cases of human rights violation across the country of which 83 cases, or 22 percent constitute torture and ill treatment. Torture and ill treatment in Burma takes place in two distinct places: (1) in detention centers where political prisoners are interrogated and held, and (2) in ethnic nationality areas where the Burmese military is present. Torture of political prisoners generally takes place shortly after an individual is arrested during interrogations. It can, along with ill treatment, continue for years – even decades – while political prisoners serve inordinately long sentences. In ethnic nationality areas torture seldom takes place in formal detention centers but is meted out in military bases or remote rural villages. Shan State and Kachin State are particularly hard hit. Evidence gathered by ND-Burma shows that torture and ill-treatment in ethnic areas often takes place within the context of other human rights violations, including arbitrary arrest, forced labor, forced portering, confi scation of property, restriction of movement, and sexual violence. The report makes a number of recommendations to the Government of Burma and the international community. Chief among these are calls for the adoption of legislation guaranteeing basic rights for the people of Burma, particularly the internationally recognized right to be free from torture and ill-treatment, and laws that ensure that the perpetrators of these crimes face justice. There are also calls for more education, training and public awareness about torture in order to prevent future violations as well as calls to institute safeguards and programs that guarantee that victims have available, credible, accessible remedies to deal with torture should it take place. This report also raises concerns regarding the new National Human Rights Commission, including its lack of full independence, its inability to investigate crimes committed by the military, and its failure to comply fully with best practices for national human rights commissions as described in the Paris Principles. Torture and ill treatment have a ripple effect, with potentially long lasting negative consequences for individuals, families and society as a whole. This report serves as a reminder to the Government of Burma and the international community that significant hurdles remain for Burma to emerge as a functioning democracy that respects the Rule of Law and the rights of the people of Burma, particularly ethnic nationalities."
Language: English (Burmese press release and video)
Source/publisher: Network for Human Rights Documentation - Burma (ND-Burma)
Format/size: pdf (1.5MB, report; 135K - press release;
Alternate URLs: http://nd-burma.org/video/documentary/item/92-extreme-measures.html
Date of entry/update: 28 May 2012

Title: Toungoo Situation Update: Received in November 2011
Date of publication: 19 April 2012
Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in November 2011 by a villager describing events occurring in Toungoo District prior to October 2011. It frames present village conditions within the context and consequences of the 2005 – 2008 Northern Offensive by Tatmadaw forces and details the following human rights abuses: forced relocation of villages; movement restrictions; forced labour by adult and child villagers; arbitrary taxation and demands; beating and torture of villagers, especially of village leaders; and attacks on and killing of villagers. This situation update also documents a number of villagers' concerns related to village leadership systems, livelihood challenges, the provision of education for children and food shortages. Moreover, this report describes ways by which villagers have sought to mitigate aspects of the abuses and concerns noted above, namely villagers bribing soldiers in order to allow them to transport more supplies than permitted to their village and establishing a rotating village governance system."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (124K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b37.pdf
Date of entry/update: 21 April 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.pdf
Date of entry/update: 12 April 2012

Title: From Prison to Front Line: Analysis of convict porter testimony 2009 – 2011
Date of publication: 13 July 2011
Description/subject: "...Over the last two decades, KHRG has documented the abuse of convicts taken by the thousands from prisons across Burma and forced to serve as porters for frontline units of Burma’s state army, the Tatmadaw. In the last two years alone, Tatmadaw units have used at least 1,700 convict porters during two distinct, ongoing combat operations in Karen State and eastern Bago Division; this report presents full transcripts and analysis of interviews with 59 who escaped. In interviews with KHRG, every convict porter described being forced to carry unmanageable loads over hazardous terrain with minimal rest, food and water. Most told of being used deliberately as human shields during combat; forced to walk before troops in landmine-contaminated areas; and being refused medical attention when wounded or ill. Many saw porters executed when they were unable to continue marching or when desperation drove them to attempt escape. Abuses consistently described by porters violate Burma's domestic and international legal obligations. If such abusive practices are to be halted, existing legal provisions must be enforced by measures that ensure accountability for the individuals that violate them. This report is intended to augment "Dead Men Walking: Convict Porters on the Front Lines in Eastern Burma", a joint report released by KHRG and Human Rights Watch in July 2011..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (3.2MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg1102.pdf

Date of entry/update: 15 July 2011

Title: Dead Men Walking: Convict Porters on the Front Lines in Eastern Burma
Date of publication: 12 July 2011
Description/subject: "...For decades the Burmese army has forced civilians to risk life and limb serving as porters in barbaric conditions during military operations against rebel armed groups. Among those taken to do this often deadly work, for indefinite periods and without compensation, are common criminals serving time in Burma’s prisons and labor camps. Escaped convict porters described to us how the authorities selected them in a seemingly random fashion from prison and transferred them to army units fighting on the front lines. They are forced to carry huge loads of supplies and munitions in mountainous terrain, and given inadequate food and no medical care. Often they are used as “human shields,” put in front of columns of troops facing ambush or sent first down mined roads or trails, the latter practice known as "atrocity demining.” The wounded are left to die; those who try to escape are frequently executed. Burma’s military government promised that the November 2010 elections, the country’s first elections in more than 20 years, would bring about human rights improvements. But soon after election day the Burmese army, the Tatmadaw, launched military operations that have been accompanied by a new round of abuses. In January 2011, the Tatmadaw, in collusion with the Corrections Department and the Burmese police, gathered an estimated 700 prisoners from approximately 12 prisons and labor camps throughout Burma to serve as porters for an ongoing offensive in southern Karen State, in the east of the country. The same month, another 500 prisoners were taken for use as porters during another separate military operation in northern Karen State and eastern Pegu Region, augmenting 500 porters used in the same area in an earlier stage of the operation in the preceding year. The men were a mix of serious and petty offenders, but their crimes or willingness to serve were not taken into consideration: only their ability to carry heavy loads of ammunition, food, and supplies for more than 17 Tatmadaw battalions engaged in operations against ethnic Karen armed groups. Karen civilians living in the combat zone, who would normally be forced to porter for the military under similarly horrendous conditions, had already fled by the thousands to the Thai border. The prisoners selected as porters described witnessing or enduring summary executions, torture and beatings, being used as “human shields” to trip landmines or shield soldiers from fire, and being denied medical attention and adequate food and shelter. One convict porter, Ko Kyaw Htun (all prisoner names used in this report are pseudonyms), told how Burmese soldiers forced him to walk ahead when they suspected landmines were on the trails: “They followed behind us. In their minds, if the mine explodes, the mine will hit us first.” Another porter, Tun Mok, described how soldiers recaptured him after trying to escape, and how they kicked and punched him, and then rolled a thick bamboo pole painfully up and down his shins. This report, based on Human Rights Watch and Karen Human Rights Group interviews with 58 convict porters who escaped to Thailand between 2010 and 2011, details the abuses. The porters we spoke with ranged in age from 20 to 57 years, and included serious offenders such as murderers and drug dealers, as well as individuals convicted of brawling and fraud— even illegal lottery sellers. Their sentences ranged from just one year to more than 20 years’ imprisonment, and they were taken from different facilities, including labor camps, maximum security prisons, such as Insein prison in Rangoon, and local prisons for less serious offenders. The accounts shared by porters about the abuses they experienced in 2011 are horrific, but sadly not unusual. The use of convict porters is not an isolated, local, or rogue practice employed by some units or commanders, but has been credibly documented since as early as 1992. This report focuses on recent use of convict porters in Karen State, but the use of convict porters has also been reported in the past in Mon, Karenni, and Shan States. The International Labour Organization (ILO) has raised the issue of convict porters with the Burmese government since 1998, yet the problem persists, particularly during major offensive military operations. Burma’s forcible recruitment and mistreatment of convicts as uncompensated porters in conflict areas are grave violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law. Abuses include murder, torture, and the use of porters as human shields. Those responsible for ordering or participating in such mistreatment should be prosecuted for war crimes. Authorities in Burma have previously admitted the practice occurs, but have claimed that prisoners are not exposed to hostilities. The information gathered for this report, consistent with the evidence gathered over the past two decades, demonstrates that this simply is not true. The practice is ongoing, systematic, and is facilitated by several branches of government, suggesting decision-making at the highest levels of the Burmese military and political establishment. Officials and commanders who knew or should have known of such abuses but took no measures to stop it or punish those responsible should be held accountable as a matter of command responsibility. The use of convict porters on the front line is only one facet of the brutal counterinsurgency practices Burmese officials have used against ethnic minority populations since independence in 1948. These include deliberate attacks on civilian villages and towns, large-scale forced relocation, torture, extrajudicial executions, rape and other sexual violence against women and girls, and the use of child soldiers. Rebel armed groups have also been involved in abuses such as indiscriminate use of landmines, using civilians as forced labor, and recruitment of child soldiers. These abuses have led to growing calls for the establishment of a United Nations commission of inquiry into longstanding allegations of violations of international humanitarian and human rights law in Burma. As the experiences contained in this report make clear, serious abuses that amount to war crimes are being committed with the involvement or knowledge of high-level civilian and military officials. Officers and soldiers commit atrocities with impunity. Credible and impartial investigations are needed into serious abuses committed by all parties to Burma’s internal armed conflicts. The international community’s failure to exert more effective pressure on the Burmese military to end the use of convict porters on the battlefield will condemn more men to take their place..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Watch (HRW), Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (1.6MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/burma0711_OnlineVersion.pdf
Date of entry/update: 15 July 2011

Date of publication: 19 October 2010
Description/subject: Abstract: "Despite the fact that torture constitutes one of the most brutal attacks on human dignity, and not withstanding the absolute prohibition of torture under any circumstances, almost no society is immune from torture. In many societies, it is practiced systematically. Burma is one such country. In addition, conditions of detention, in Burma, are appalling and arguably qualify as cruel, inhuman and degrading, amounting to torture. This paper explores the nature of torture in Burma’s interrogation centres and prisons. Evidence suggests the practice of torture, in Burma, serves the purpose of extracting confessions and information; extracting money; as a punishment; and perhaps, most dangerously, of silencing dissent. The victims, in Burma, are often activists with different agendas, and include members of the political opposition, ethnic groups, labour activists and human rights defenders. The State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) continues to deny the existence of political prisoners, arguing that ‘there are only criminals in Burma’s prisons’ and refutes claims of torture and ill-treatment. However, the deplorable conditions in these places of detention are well documented. The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) has systematically documented hundreds of cases of torture experienced by political prisoners, dating back to 1988 and as recent as 2010. Through interviews, former political prisoners recount the torture and illtreatment, which they suffered, as well as that which they have witnessed. The research reveals that torture is not limited to isolated cases but inflicted in a routine, if not, systematic manner..."
Author/creator: Bo Kyi, Hannah Scott
Language: English
Source/publisher: Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma)
Format/size: pdf (218K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.aappb.org/Torture_political_prisoners_and_the_un-rule_of_law.pdf
Date of entry/update: 28 September 2012

Title: Burma Human Rights Yearbook 2008 - Chapter 2: Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
Date of publication: 23 November 2009
Description/subject: "...Throughout 2008, acts of torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, continued to be regularly reported across Burma. Reported acts of torture were not confined merely to those in prisons or detention centres but were reportedly perpetrated against regular citizens; men, women and children who live in a country oppressed by a powerful few. The year saw the continuation of human rights abuses against those involved in the Saffron Revolution of September 2007, with trials held in prisons and closed courtrooms. Many activists and members of the opposition were sentenced to long periods of time in prison and relocations of political prisoners to remote prison locations were common throughout the year as the regime made it even more difficult for relatives to visit those imprisoned. Over the course of 2008 the prison population also increased due to the spike in arrests from the end of 2007. With conditions in prisons deteriorating, the human rights situation for those in detention continued to worsen. Conflict and discrimination against ethnic minorities also continued, with reports of torture used against minority groups including the Karen, the Chin, the Shan and the ethnic Rohingya..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Docmentation Unit (HRDU)
Format/size: pdf (562K)
Date of entry/update: 05 December 2009

Title: Burma Human Rights Yearbook 2007: Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment or Punishment
Date of publication: September 2008
Description/subject: "...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..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Documentation Unit of the NCGUB (HRDU)
Format/size: html, pdf
Date of entry/update: 11 December 2008

Title: Attacks, killings and the food crisis in Toungoo District
Date of publication: 01 August 2008
Description/subject: "SPDC troops have continued to target internally displaced persons (IDPs) within Toungoo District. Civilians continue be killed or injured by the attacks while many of the survivors flee their homes and take shelter in forest hiding sites. Some who have moved into SPDC forced relocation sites continue to secretly return to their villages to cultivate their crops, constantly risking punishment or execution by troops patrolling the areas. The SPDC's repeated disruption of regular planting cycles has created a food crisis in Toungoo, further endangering the IDPs living there. This report examines the abuses in Toungoo District from April to June 2008..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Reports (KHRG #2008-F9)
Format/size: html, pdf (880 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg08f9.pdf
Date of entry/update: 01 November 2009

Title: Oppressed twice over: SPDC and DKBA exploitation and violence against villagers in Thaton District
Date of publication: 20 March 2008
Description/subject: "Throughout Thaton District the SPDC has persistently worked to expand and entrench military control not only by increasing its own troops, but also by heavily relying on the DKBA as a local proxy force. Both groups exploit the civilian population to support their respective military hierarchies and local villagers thus face a double burden on their lives. This report looks at various forms and specific incidents of forced labour, extortion, violence and other abuse against villagers in Thaton District which SPDC and DKBA personnel have perpetrated up to February 2008..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Report (KHRG #2008-F4)
Format/size: html, pdf (672 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg08f4.pdf
Date of entry/update: 07 November 2009

Title: Militarisation, violence and exploitation in Toungoo District
Date of publication: 15 February 2008
Description/subject: "While the SPDC leadership proposes dates for a constitutional referendum and eventual multiparty elections it nonetheless continues without the slightest hesitation the violent subjugation of villagers in northern Karen State. The area of Toungoo District is now saturated with SPDC troops and the local civilian population living under military control as well as those living in hiding are facing constricting options for their lives. The SPDC has continued to increase the military build-up of the area deploying more troops, building new camps and bases and constructing and upgrading vehicle roads to facilitate troop deployment and the stocking of army camps. In this context attacks on villages, arbitrary detentions, killings, forced labour and extortion have continued consistent with the regime's policy of civilian subjugation and in opposition to its claims of a potential return to civilian rule through the current constitution-vetting process..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Report (KHRG #2008-F2)
Format/size: html, pdf (1.1 MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg08f2.pdf
Date of entry/update: 07 November 2009

Title: Attacks, killings and increased militarisation in Nyaunglebin District
Date of publication: 11 January 2008
Description/subject: "With the dry season in northern Karen State well under way, the SPDC continues to intensify its militarisation of the area. In Nyaunglebin District this intensification has come in the form of an increased troop build-up with the regime deploying new military units, establishing new camps and bases and attacking displaced civilian communities in hiding. Maintaining a shoot-on-sight policy SPDC soldiers operating in Nyaunglebin have shot and killed or otherwise severely injured displaced villagers and destroyed rice storage barns and civilian rice supplies across the district. In those areas more firmly under SPDC control, soldiers have ordered villagers to labour building army camps, porter mortar shells and army rations and repair SPDC-controlled vehicle roads in support of the region's growing military presence. This report looks at the human rights situation in Nyaunglebin District from October to December 2007..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Report (KHRG #2008-F1)
Format/size: html, pdf (689K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg08f1.pdf
Date of entry/update: 07 November 2009

Title: Landmines, Killings and Food Destruction: Civilian life in Toungoo District
Date of publication: 09 August 2007
Description/subject: "The attacks against civilians continue as the SPDC increases its military build-up in Toungoo District. Enforcing widespread restrictions on movement backed up by a shoot-on-sight policy, the SPDC has executed at least 38 villagers in Toungoo since January 2007. On top of this, local villagers face the ever present danger of landmines, many of which were manufactured in China, which the Army has deployed around homes, churches and forest paths. Combined with the destruction of covert agricultural hill fields and rice supplies, these attacks seek to undermine food security and make life unbearable in areas outside of consolidated military control. However, as those living under SPDC rule have found, the constant stream of military demands for labour, money and other supplies undermine livelihoods, village economies and community efforts to address health, education and social needs. Civilians in Toungoo must therefore choose between a situation of impoverishment and subjugation under SPDC rule, evasion in forested hiding sites with the constant threat of military attack, or a relatively stable yet uprooted life in refugee camps away from their homeland. This report documents just some of the human rights abuses perpetrated by SPDC forces against villagers in Toungoo District up to July 2007..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Report (KHRG #2007-F6)
Format/size: html, pdf (1.24 MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg07f6_0.pdf
Date of entry/update: 08 November 2009

Title: Oppression by proxy in Thaton District
Date of publication: 21 December 2006
Description/subject: "With the onset of the cold season the State Peace & Development Council (SPDC) has been able to push ahead with military attacks against villages and displaced communities in the northern districts of Karen State. In Thaton District and other areas further south, however, the military is more firmly in control, fewer displaced communities are able to remain in hiding, and SPDC rule is facilitated by the presence of its ally the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA). By increasingly relying on DKBA forces to administer Thaton, the SPDC has been able to free up soldiers and resources which can then be deployed elsewhere. To force the civilian population into submission, the DKBA has scoured villages throughout Thaton - detaining, interrogating and torturing villagers and conscripting them to serve as army porters. Commensurate with its increased control over the civilian population, DKBA soldiers have subjected villagers to regular extortion, arbitrary and excessive 'taxation', forced labour, land confiscation and restrictions on movement, trade and education which all serve to support ongoing military rule in Thaton. By systematising control over local villagers, the SPDC and DKBA have been able to implement 'development' projects that financially benefit and further entrench the military hierarchy. Amongst such initiatives, the construction in Thaton District of the United Nations-supported Asian Highway, connecting Burma with neighbouring countries, has involved uncompensated land confiscation and forced labour..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Report (KHRG #2006-F11)
Format/size: html, pdf (619 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg06f11_0.pdf
Date of entry/update: 08 November 2009

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.pdf
Date of entry/update: 09 November 2009

Title: The Darkness We See: Torture in Burma
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)
Alternate URLs: http://www.aappb.org/tortour_report.pdf
Date of entry/update: 01 December 2005

Title: MYANMAR 22 political prisoners (all male)
Date of publication: 13 May 2005
Description/subject: "Twenty-two political prisoners are at risk of torture and ill-treatment, after at least nine of the group began a hunger strike at Insein Prison in the capital Yangon on 28 April. Four people have been transferred to other prisons where they may face torture in connection with the hunger strike. Nine political prisoners who are not known to have taken part in the hunger strike have been denied access to their families, and it is feared that they may also be at risk of torture and ill-treatment. Political prisoners Aye Lwin, Han Win Aung, Kyaw Kyaw, Kyaw Moe, Kyaw Naing, Lwin Ko Latt, Myo Khin, Myo Win, and a monk whose name is not known are reported to have initiated a hunger strike. They were protesting at the decision of the authorities at Insein Prison to make political prisoners share cells with prisoners convicted of criminal offences, who reportedly ill-treated them. At least two hunger strikers were confined to special punishment cells originally built as kennels for army dogs and severely beaten by authorities. Myint Ye, Ne Kyaw, Myint Naing and lawyer Soe Han, who is a prisoner of conscience, have reportedly been transferred to other prisons in Myanmar, including Thayet Prison, 340 miles from Yangon and a journey of more than 10 hours by road, in connection with the hunger strike. All those named above are being denied contact with their families. Some hunger strikers are thought to be in poor health, exacerbated by their poor treatment in detention..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Amnesty International (ASA 16/018/2005)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 19 November 2010

Title: From Prison to Frontline: Portering for SPDC Troops during the Offensive in Eastern Karen State, Burma, September-October 2003.
Date of publication: January 2005
Description/subject: "...In November 2003, in the wake of the joint military offensive by the SPDC (State Peace and Development Council) and the DKBA (Democratic Karen Buddhist Army), Burma Issues set about documenting the systematic use of prisoners as porters for military purposes. This practice constitutes an egregious human rights abuse. Research for the project began with interviews with twenty-two escapees who had taken refuge near the Thai-Burma border. We dealt with issues such as their prison lives, their journey to the conflict area, their treatment at the hands of the soldiers, their experiences in battle, and also their experiences relating to landmines. We then proceeded to conduct more in-depth research to supplement this invaluable first hand information. We have compiled the analysis and present our findings in this report..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Issues
Format/size: pdf (545K - OBL version; 709K - original))
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmaissues.org/images/stories/pdfreports/from%20prison%20to%20frontline.pdf
Date of entry/update: 27 June 2005

Title: Burma Human Rights Yearbook 2003-2004: Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment
Date of publication: November 2004
Description/subject: Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment during the Depayin Massacre... Torture during Detention: Methods of Torture in Detention and Prison; Beatings; Solitary Confinement...Torture During Forced Portering and Forced Labor...Torture of Villagers in Areas of Ethnic Armed Conflict...Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment – Partial List of Incidents for 2003.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Documenbtation Unit of the NCGUB
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2005

Title: Burma Human Rights Yearbook 2002-03: Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment
Date of publication: October 2003
Description/subject: "Torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in Burma has been used by the military government in Burma for more than 40 years and has been particularly documented since the 1988 pro-democracy uprising when the use of torture increased. Although articles 330 and 331 of the Burmese Penal Code (1957) prohibit torture and ill-treatment during interrogation it is personnel associated with the regime that are given the power to torture during interrogation with impunity. Members of the army, Military Intelligence (MI), police, Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA) and armed groups aligned with the SPDC such as the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) routinely use torture to punish and degrade (break) those who have been detained on suspicion of anti-government activities, including political prisoners and villagers living in areas where there is ongoing armed conflict. Torture has the dual purpose of being a method used to obtain information on anti-government and rebel activities, as well as a way of putting terror in the hearts of the population to thwart participation in anti-government activities. In addition, torture is used to extort money, as well as to give punishment for failure to obey orders, failure to pay fees and taxes, as a result of prejudice or a combination of these factors..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Documentation Unit of the NCGUB
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 10 November 2003

Title: Operation Than L'Yet: Forced Displacement, Massacres and Forced Labour in Dooplaya District
Date of publication: 25 September 2002
Description/subject: "In January 2002 it appeared that the SPDC considered most of Dooplaya district of southern Karen State to be pacified and under their control. But then Light Infantry Division 88 was sent in and commenced Operation Than L'Yet, forcibly relocating as many as 60 villages by July. Villagers were rounded up and detained without food for days, or force-marched to Army-controlled relocation sites after their houses were burned. Village heads, women and children were tortured. People who tried to flee into the forests were shot on sight, including one brutal massacre of ten people, six of them children under 15. Over a thousand people fled into Thailand, and several thousand more are still trying. Another five thousand are in Army relocation camps, where they have been provided with nothing and are struggling to survive on rice gruel and whatever roots they can forage. Their movements are tightly controlled and they are being used as forced labour to build roads, bridges and Army camps which will help Division 88 to clamp down further on the district. They are also forced to work as porters for the Army columns which go out to loot and destroy even more villages. KHRG researchers expect a renewed onslaught after the rains end in October, when Division 88 will probably set out to hunt down those still in hiding and may extend the forced relocations to more areas."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Information Update (KHRG #2002-U5)
Format/size: html (34K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2002/khrg02u5.html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Burma Human Rights Yearbook 2001-2002: Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment
Date of publication: September 2002
Description/subject: "...Torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in Burma has been used by the military government in Burma for more than 40 years and has been particularly documented since the 1988 pro-democracy uprising when the use of torture increased. Although articles 330 and 331 of the Burmese Penal Code (1957) prohibit torture and ill-treatment during interrogation it is personnel associated with the regime that are given the power to torture during interrogation with impunity. According to the 2000 Amnesty International Report, The Institution of Torture, “Torture and ill-treatment have become institutionalized in Myanmar. They are practiced by the army as part of counter-insurgency activities; by prison guards; and by the police.” Members of the army, MIS, police, USDA, and armed groups aligned with the SPDC such as the DKBA use torture to punish and degrade (break) those who have been detained on suspicion of anti-government activities, including political prisoners and villagers living in areas where there is ongoing armed conflict. Torture has the dual effect of both being a method used to obtain information on anti-government and rebel activities, as well as a way of putting terror in the hearts of the population to keep them from participating in anti-government activities. Torture is used to extort money, also to give punishment for failure to obey orders, failure to pay fees and taxes or is result of prejudice..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Documentation Unit of the NCGUB
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Burma Human Rights Yearbook 2000: Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment
Date of publication: October 2001
Description/subject: "...Members of the SPDC army, the MIS, the police, the USDA, and armed groups aligned with the SPDC such as the DKBA and the village people’s militias ("pyi thu sit") use torture to punish and degrade (break) those who have been detained on allegations of suspected of "anti-government" activities, including political prisoners and villagers in ethnic areas of armed insurgency. Torture is also a method of obtaining information concerning anti-government or rebel activities and a way of putting terror into the hearts of others to keep them away from association with anything deemed anti-government..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: NCGUB Human Rights Documentation Unit: "Human Rights Yearbook Burma (Myanmar) 2000"
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: 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/ae5a6480-d90b-11dd-ad8c-f3d4445c118e/asa1...
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA16/017/2001/en/ba1e04f0-d90b-11dd-ad8c-f3d4445c118e/asa1... (French)
Date of entry/update: 19 November 2010

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/asset/ASA16/006/2001/en/96ffdd61-db75-11dd-af3c-1fd4bb8cf58e/asa1...
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/26494872-f84d-11dd-a0a9-2bd73ca4d38a/asa1...
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA16/001/2001/en/79b6caa9-dc5b-11dd-bce7-11be3666d687/asa1... (French)
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
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2000/khrg0006.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/b6ce9ede-dcf7-11dd-bacc-b7af5299964b/asa1...
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA16/024/2000/en/c5c02685-dcf7-11dd-bacc-b7af5299964b/asa1... (French)
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: What is torture? (in Japanese)
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: Japanese
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 8 No.3
Format/size: HTML
Date of entry/update: 03 December 2010

Title: Karen Human Rights Group Commentary #99-C1
Date of publication: 25 May 1999
Description/subject: "...The rainy season appears to be beginning early this year, and as the rains begin many people look back and evaluate the past dry season. Though the period since October/November 1998 has not featured a major military offensive, the situation for rural villagers in eastern Burma has continued to deteriorate and there have been some extremely worrying new developments. In general, the State Peace & Development Council (SPDC) regime has continued to use increased militarisation, forced relocations and tighter controls on villagers as a means of consolidating its control over remote regions, and as a result more and more villagers are becoming internally displaced each month while life becomes even more desperate for those who are already displaced and hiding in the forests. This dry season the SPDC has also added a new weapon to its arsenal which is now terrorising villagers and driving many of them to flight: the ‘Sa Thon Lon Guerrilla Retaliation’ execution squads..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Commentaries (KHRG #99-C1)
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg99/khrg99c1.html
Date of entry/update: 21 November 2009

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
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmadebate.org/archives/win98bttm.html#Voices
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
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/40ac1aaf-daa6-11dd-80bc-797022e51902/asa1...
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: Violations of human rights in Burma: Report of a fact-finding mission, November 1997
Date of publication: November 1997
Description/subject: "In November 1997, Physicians for Human Rights / Denmark and DanChurchAid visited Thailand to describe violations of human rights committed against Burmese refugees in their home country. We interviewed and examined people mainly from rural areas in the Shan, Karenni and Karen regions of Burma. We asked about exposure of family members to forced labour, porter service, forced relocation, arrests, physical ill-treatment incl. torture, and about killing, rape and disappearances of family members or persons from the village of the examined person. Furthermore, we asked about landmine incidents among the examinees, family members or persons from their village. If the examinee confirmed such exposure, we asked about details according to interview forms. In case the interviewed person alleged exposure to physical assaults, a physical examination was performed to assess whether there was aggreement between the reported exposure and the presence or absence of scars or other physical sequels. In total, 188 persons were examined and interviewed. 92 persons, incl 46 Shans, were examined. 61 (66%) reported exposure to two or more of the mentioned violations of human rights. 34 (37%) had fled within the last year (median 5 months) before our examination. There was no difference between the exposure to human rights violations committed against the Shans compared to the others. Those who had fled recently were as heavily exposed as the rest of the examinees. Of the 92 persons examined, it was among other things reported that 65% had done porter service, that 51% had been relocated from their villages, that 14% had been tortured, that 36% had experienced killing of family members (not from landmine explosions) and that 25% (themselves or family members) had been traumatized or killed by landmines. In all cases of reported exposure to ill-treatmen t / torture or landmine incidents we found agreement between the history and the result of the clinical examination. Furthermore, 96 persons were interviewed. Of this group, 40% had fled within the last 12 months before our examination. Those who had fled most recently had been more heavily exposed to human rights violation than the others who had fled earlier. We conclude that the 188 persons examined and interviewed represent various ethnic groups, mainly from rural areas in Burma, which have been heavily exposed to human rights violations. Our results do not indicate that the Shan people has been less exposed than other groups. We find no signs of amelioration of the human rights situation in Burma within the last year. Apart from the landmine problem, in which local guerilla groups are involved, troops from the Burmese army are responsible for all the described violations of human rights..."
Author/creator: Hans Draminsky Petersen, Jakob Lykke, Hans Petter Hougen, Maiken Mannstaedt & Bjarne Ussing
Language: English
Source/publisher: Physicians for Human Rights/Denmark and Danchurchaid
Format/size: pdf (351K)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2005

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)
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: 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
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmadebate.org/archives/marjun97bttm.html#vob
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Myanmar: September - December 1996
Date of publication: 12 February 1997
Description/subject: Political tension in Myanmar escalated steadily in 1996, characterized by political brinkmanship between the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC, Myanmar's military government) and the National League for Democracy (NLD, the primary legal opposition party). Each time the NLD attempted to organize large-scale political activities, the SLORC took rapid pre-emptivesteps to prevent such plans from coming to fruition. SLORC repression of the NLD included mass arrests of NLD supporters by the security forces in order to prevent meetings; sentencing dozens of NLD members to long terms of imprisonment; and restrictions on movement and intensified surveillance and intimidation of NLD members and leaders. Long dormant student activism also emerged in the last three months of the year, with protest demonstrations calling for student rights in Yangon, the capital, and in Mandalay, Upper Myanmar. Demonstrations were broken up by the authorities, who arrested hundreds of students during and after the protests. Although most were released, others remain in detention.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Amnesty International
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.web.amnesty.org/library/print/engasa160011997?open&of=eng-mmr
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
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
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)
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: 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
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
Alternate URLs: http://www.aappb.net/cries%20from%20insein.html
Date of entry/update: 03 December 2010

Title: Karen Human Rights Group Commentary #95-C2
Date of publication: 09 May 1995
Description/subject: "...SLORC is now directly involved in planning, preparing, coordinating and executing acts of international terrorism. Its role in the attacks on refugee camps in Thailand cannot be denied, despite all its claims that the attacks are only the work of the DKBA ('Democratic Kayin Buddhist Army'). Eyewitnesses have seen SLORC soldiers participating in almost every attack, while letters and orders from SLORC officers have referred to their 'control' over the DKBA. Furthermore, the latest wave of attacks, which employed several hundred men operating on different parts of the border with mortar support from a SLORC-controlled area on the Burma side of the border, simply could not have been planned and coordinated without direct SLORC involvement. If the refugees return, SLORC stands to gain alot of international legitimacy while simultaneously obtaining alot of free labourers for its military 'development' projects. Initially the DKBA tried to use agressive persuasion and threats. Then when that didn't work quickly enough, DKBA and SLORC began attacking the refugee camps, kidnapping or killing camp leaders and religious leaders, shooting refugees and threatening everyone with further attacks (see "SLORC's Northern Karen Offensive", KHRG #95-10, 29/3/95). Since February, these attacks have been happening several times a week and at almost every camp. By April, camp security forces had formed and were beginning to thwart many of the attacks. Some refugees were returning to Burma, but only a small minority. Then on April 25, SLORC and the DKBA launched the apparent 'Third Phase' of the strategy by hitting Mae Ra Ma Luang (which hadn't been attacked before) and Kamaw Lay Ko camps on the same day, then hitting Baw Noh camp on April 28 (see "New Attacks on Karen Refugee Camps", KHRG #95-16, 5/5/95). These attacks were completely different: they attacked brazenly with at least 50 or 100 heavily armed troops, in broad daylight in 2 out of 3 cases, and they showed no hesitation to attack Thai forces even without being provoked. At Baw Noh, they even had Burmese 81 mm. mortar support fired from the Burma side of the border. Furthermore, the attacks were no longer targetted at specific camp leaders or just a few houses, but aimed to destroy the camps wholesale by burning them down. 170 houses were burned in Mae Ra Ma Luang, 300 in Kamaw Lay Ko and over 700 in Baw Noh. During the attacks, DKBA troops made it clear to refugees that they also had orders to capture or kill foreign aid workers in the camps if possible..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #95-C2)
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg95/khrg95c2.html
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
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg93/93_12_05.html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Torture of Karen Women by SLORC
Date of publication: 16 February 1993
Description/subject: Story or three women totured by SLORC
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.karenhumanrightsgroup.org/khrg93/93_02_16b.html
Date of entry/update: 14 November 2009

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

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

Date of publication: May 1988
Description/subject: "Thousands of ethnic minority people have fled Burma to escape the indiscriminate brutality of the army's counter-insurgency operations. Most of the refugees are from the Karen State, a mountainous area bordering on Thailand. Others come from the Mon and Kachin States and other parts of Burma. Their plight has received little attention from the international community. In this report Amnesty International publishes, for the first time, a detailed account of the widespread extrajudicial executions, and torture and harsh treatment inflicted on these people by soldiers operating in defiance of both Burmese and international law...Since 1984 the Burmese army has waged intensive counter-insurgency campaigns against various armed opposition groups, including minority movements fighting for greater autonomy in the Karen, Kachin and Mon States. The civilian population has suffered heavily in counter-insurgency drives. Most of the people living in these remote and mountainous states are illiterate villagers making a living out of rice farming or petty trading. To deny the insurgents any possible logistical or other support the army has imposed harsh restrictions on the villagers' lives, including controls on their movement, residence and wealth. Whole villages have been regrouped in "strategic hamlets" - fenced settlements - under strict curfew. These restrictions impose intolerable hardships on rice farmers, whose livelihood depends on free movement to tend their crops in often far-off fields, and on itinerant traders who ply their wares between villages. People are forced to risk their lives in order to survive. If they are found in places declared off-limits by the army, or on roads or in fields after curfew, they are suspected of links with the insurgents and may be summarily shot or taken into custody and tortured. Mutilated bodies are sometimes left by roadsides and in the fields...1. SUMMARY 2. INTRODUCTION 2.1 SOURCES AND THE SCALE OF ABUSES 2.2 BACKGROUND 2.2.1 HISTORICAL SKETCH 2.2.2 KAREN INSURGENCY 2.2.3 KACHIN AND MON INSURGENCIES 2.3 AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL'S POSITION ON ABUSES BY ARMED OPPOSITION FORCES 12 3. EXTRAJUDICIAL EXECUTION OF KAREN BY THE ARMY 3.1 CIRCUMSTANCES AND METHODS OF EXTRAJUDICIAL EXECUTION 3.2 EXTRAJUDICIAL EXECUTION FOR DISOBEYING RESTRICTIONS ON LIVELIHOOD 3.3 EXTRAJUDICIAL EXECUTION OF PORTERS AND GUIDES 3.4 EXTRAJUDICIAL EXECUTION FOR OTHER REASONS 4. TORTURE AND ILL-TREATMENT OF KAREN BY THE ARMY 4.1 CIRCUMSTANCES AND METHODS OF TORTURE AND ILL-TREATMENT 4.2 TORTURE AND ILL-TREATMENT DURING INTERROGATION 4.3 TORTURE AND ILL-TREATMENT AS PUNISHMENT 4.4 TORTURE AND ILL-TREATMENT OF WIVES TAKEN AS HOSTAGES 5. TORTURE AND ILL-TREATMENT OF KACHIN AND MON BY THE ARMY AND POLICE 5.1 KACHIN CASES 5.2 MON CASES 6. BURMESE AND INTERNATIONAL LAW AND AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL RECOMMENDATIONS 6.1 BURMESE LEGAL SAFEGUARDS AND REMEDIES RELATED TO HUMAN 6.1.1 PROVISIONS AGAINST TORTURE AND UNLAWFUL KILLING 6.1.2 FREEDOM FROM ARBITRARY ARREST AND DETENTION 6.1.3 THE JUDICIARY 6.1.4 POLITICAL OFFENCES INVOLVING VIOLENCE 6.1.5 EMERGENCY ABRIDGEMENT OF RIGHTS 6.1.6 INSPECTION AND COMPLAINTS PROCEDURES 6.2 INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS 6.3 AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL'S COMMUNICATIONS WITH THE GOVERNMENT 6.4 GOVERNMENT REJECTION OF ALLEGATIONS OF EXTRAJUDICIAL EXECUTION 6.5 AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL'S RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE GOVERNMENT 6.5.1 HIGH-LEVEL GOVERNMENT STATEMENTS AGAINST HUMAN RIGHTS 6.5.2 FULL GOVERNMENT INQUIRY/PROSECUTION OF RESPONSIBLE AUTHORITIES 6.5.3 LEGISLATIVE REFORM AND ENFORCEMENT 6.5.4 IMPROVED TRAINING OF SECURITY FORCES 6.5.5 COMPENSATION FOR VICTIMS AND THEIR RELATIVES 6.5.6 PROVIDING ACCESS AND INFORMATION TO INTERNATIONAL BODIES 6.5.7 RATIFICATION OF INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS INSTRUMENTS 6.5.8 DIVISION OF DETENTION AND INTERROGATION RESPONSIBILITIES 6 5.9 COMPREHENSIVE PUBLIC RECORDS OF ARREST AND DETENTION..... APPENDIX 1: REPORTED VICTIMS OF EXTRAJUDICIAL EXECUTIONS; APPPENDIX 2: REPORTED VICTIMS OF TORTURE OR OTHER SEVERE ILL-TREATMENT.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Amnesty International (ASA 16-05-88)
Format/size: pdf (428K)
Date of entry/update: 17 August 2005