Press Release from Network for Human Rights Documentation – Burma
The Network for Human Rights Documentation – Burma (ND-Burma) released a new report in Bangkok today, documenting the Government of Burma’s use of torture and ill treatment against its own people since the November 2010 elections.
“The international community has been applauding the government for recent gestures towards change; essentially they are praising the government for continuing to violate the fundamental rights of the people of Burma,” said Twan Zaw from All Arakan Students’ and Youths’ Congress and a leader of ND-Burma’s Advocacy Team. “For there to be a real progress towards genuine democracy, the government must address the lack of domestic legislation against torture, the absence of an independent judiciary and the current system of impunity.”
The report, “Extreme Measures: Torture and Ill Treatment in Burma since the 2010 Elections,” presents the findings of ND-Burma member organizations, who in 2011 documented 371 cases of human rights violations across the country. Eighty-three of these cases constitute torture and ill treatment, violations that happen in two distinct places: detention centers where political prisoners are interrogated and held, and ethnic nationality areas where the Burma Army is actively engaged in armed conflict.
“There are still 471 political prisoners in Burma, with another 465 whose whereabouts are being verified. Even one political prisoner would be too many. As long as people are being detained for their political beliefs, tortured, and denied medical attention, democracy will not be possible in our country,” said Min Min, a former political prisoner and member of the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners – Burma.
“It is very difficult for a woman to overcome the suffering after being tortured through sexual abuse. After the immediate physical pain, they must also face severe psychological suffering, which is made worse because these women can see that Burma Army troops enjoy impunity after committing such sexual abuses against women, particularly in the ethnic areas where the armed conflict is active, such as in Northern Shan State and Kachin State,” said Hkawng Seng Pan from the Kachin Women’s Association – Thailand.
The new report concludes with a comprehensive set of recommendations to the Government of Burma, the people of the country, the international community, Asian regional governments, the National Human Rights Commission of Burma, members of the Upper and Lower Houses of Parliament and international financial institutions.
ND-Burma has also produced a documentary in both Burmese and English to complement the report.
For more information, please contact:
Twan Zaw: +66816808934 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Moon Nay Li: +66856251912 or email@example.com
Network for Human Rights Documentation – Burma
PO Box 67
CMU Post Office
Chiang Mai 50202