Myanmar: The repression of ethnic minority activists in Myanmar

February 16, 2010

Myanmar: The repression of ethnic minority activists in Myanmar

(a) For respect of the rights or reputations of others;

(b) For the protection of national security or of public order (ordre public), or of public health or morals."

21 Articles 20(1), and 29 of the UDHR. See also Article 21 of the ICCPR.

22 The Union of Myanmar comprises seven divisions and seven states, the latter named for the predominant ethnic minority group in the state, for example Mon State.

23 See, e.g. Amnesty International, Crimes against humanity in eastern Myanmar, June 2008 (Index: ASA 16/011/2008).

24 All italicized testimonies in this report were obtained directly by Amnesty International, while non-italicized information was either obtained directly, confirmed independently, or both by Amnesty International.

25 The Panglong Agreement was signed on 12 February 1947 between the Burmese government under General Aung San and the Kachin, Chin, and Shan leaders. It provided internal autonomy for the ethnic minority groups, while maintaining a unified country once it was fully free from British colonial rule in January 1948.

26 Central Intelligence Agency World Factbook 2008,

27 Amnesty International interview with David Taw, Chair of the Ethnic Nationalities Council, August 2009.

28 The general background information pertaining to each of these seven ethnic minorities was taken from a variety of sources, with much of it serving as general, accepted knowledge. Where inconsistencies on particulars existed, efforts were made to arrive at the most accurate, conservative, picture. Some information, however, such as that regarding population numbers, was too inconsistent to reconcile and so was omitted.