Burma Briefing No. 28
This briefing highlights Thein Sein’s decades-long involvement in human rights abuses in Burma.
Thein Sein spent 40 years as a soldier in one of the most brutal military dictatorships in the world. He spent 14 years on the ruling council of the dictatorship, including serving as Prime Minister during the crushing of the Monk-led uprising in 2007. He also spent many years based in ethnic states, where the Burmese Army committed horrific human rights abuses against the civilian population, in violation of the Geneva Conventions. In 1998 Thein Sein was personally named by the United Nations for ordering his soldiers to commit human rights abuses.
While he was a commander in Shan State, at least 45 women were raped by soldiers under his command, and there were numerous reports of his soldiers being involved in the drug trade. Soldiers under the command of Thein Sein were also reported to be involved in trafficking methamphetamines and opium. Thein Sein called local drug lords ‘real friends’.