Myanmar: The repression of ethnic minority activists in Myanmar

Report
February 16, 2010

Myanmar: The repression of ethnic minority activists in Myanmar

3 Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was sentenced in August 2009 to an additional 18 months under house arrest for violating the conditions of her detention, after she allowed an uninvited American man on to her property.

4 Amnesty International, Myanmar: Briefing Paper: No Return to "Normal", 9 November 2007 (Index: ASA 16/037/2007)

5 In August 2009, the UN Security Council urged the government of Myanmar "to take further measures to create the necessary conditions for a genuine dialogue with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and all concerned parties and ethnic groups in order to achieve an inclusive national reconciliation". UN Security Council Press Statement, 13 August 2009. The Council had also made a similar statement in May 2009.

6 Senior General Than Shwe's speech at the 64th anniversary of Armed Forces Day Parade 2009, New Light of Myanmar, 28 March 2009. What follows is an excerpt from the speech: "Moreover, to achieve national reconciliation, a welcoming hand was extended in good faith and with goodwill to armed dissident groups that had appeared since independence was gained, in order to facilitate their return to the legal fold".

7 In December 2009, the UN General Assembly "Strongly call[ed] upon the Government of Myanmar to take urgent measures to put an end to violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, including the targeting of persons belonging to particular ethnic groups" (OP 12). UN General Assembly Resolution on Myanmar, 24 December 2009 (A/RES/64/238).

8 The Kokang are an ethnic minority of predominantly Han Chinese ethnicity concentrated in the self-administrative Kokang region, in northeastern Shan State bordering China. The MNDAA is the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army.

9 In December 2009, the UN General Assembly "Strongly call[ed] upon the Government of Myanmar to take urgent measures to put an end to violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, including the targeting of persons belonging to particular ethnic groups" (OP 12). UN General Assembly Resolution on Myanmar, 24 December 2009 (A/RES/64/238).

10 In addition to sources that must remain anonymous for their security, particularly forthcoming were, on the Rakhine, Narinjara News and Kaladan News; on the Chin, the Chin Human Rights Organization; on the Kachin, the Kachin News Group; on the Shan, the Shan Herald Agency for News and the Shan Human Rights Foundation; on the Karen, the Karen Human Rights Group; and on the Mon, the Independent Mon News Agency.

11 Arbitrary detention includes instances in which a person is detained or imprisoned without a legal basis, on the basis of a seriously unfair trial, or on the basis of a law which is impermissibly vague or in violation of other fundamental standards such as the right to freedom of expression.