Violations Still Committed under Thein Sein’s Govt: ND-Burma
31 May 2012: The new government of Burma continues to commit human rights violations and abuses against its own people since the last 2010 Elections, according to a report released today by ND-Burma (Network for Human Rights Documentation – Burma).
The report ‘Extreme Measures: Torture and Ill Treatment in Burma since the 2010 Elections‘ documented 371 cases of human rights violations across the country in 2011 alone.
Salai Za Uk Ling, of the Chin Human Rights Organization, said: “The use of torture and physical ill-treatment are serious human rights violations. The fact that we continue to document these kinds of abuses in all areas of Burma, including Chin State under the new government shows that there has been little or no progress on human rights situation.”
Launched in Bangkok, Thailand, the new report said 83 of the total cases documented are associated with torture and ill-treatment perpetrated against political prisoners and ethnic nationalities, especially in the conflict areas.
Twan Zaw from All Arakan Students’ and Youths’ Congress said: “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.”
Min Min, a member of the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners – Burma, said 471 political prisoners are still being detained in the country while whereabouts of another 465 remain unclear.
“As long as people are being detained for their political beliefs, tortured, and denied medical attention, democracy will not be possible in our country,” added the former political prisoner.
The report also provides detailed graphic accounts of torture and ill-treatment taking place in the contexts of arbitrary arrest, forced labour, forced portering, confiscation of property, restricted movement, rape and sexual violence.
Hkawng Seng Pan from the Kachin Women’s Association – Thailand stressed Burma Army troops enjoy impunity after committing sexual abuses against women, particularly in the ethnic areas.
Among many, the report calls on the government of Burma 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.
Founded in 2003, Thailand-based ND-Burma, comprised of 13 human rights organizations including CHRO, is committed to providing a way for Burma human rights organisations to collaborate on the human rights documentation process and seeking to collectively use the truth of what communities in Burma have endured as well as preparing for justice and accountability measures in a potential transition.
Reporting by Thawng Zel Thang