Burma's Junta of Beating, Killing Detainees, Norway-based Radio Says
covering burma and southeast asia
Friday, May 24, 2019

Burma's Junta of Beating, Killing Detainees, Norway-based Radio Says

By The Associated Press Friday, October 12, 2007


Guards at detention centers in Burma beat, kicked and slashed protesters rounded up during the crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations, sometimes leaving their victims to die of their injuries, a dissident group said.

Burma's repressive military junta has said 10 people were killed and nearly 2,100 arrested in last month's demonstrations, with 700 later released. Diplomats and dissidents say the death toll is likely much higher and up to 6,000 people were seized, including thousands of monks who led the rallies.

At least a dozen freed prisoners described brutal treatment at detention centers, including one who said "dozens" of detainees were killed, the Democratic Voice of Burma, a Norway-based short-wave radio station and Web site run by dissident journalists, said in a report Thursday.

"They beat everyone, including women and girls," the dissident group quoted an unidentified female detainee as saying. "I was beaten myself. Monks were targeted and they were not only beaten but also verbally abused by security officers."

"I heard people shouting and crying from the interrogation room and then, I saw an army medical surgeon carrying people away," the woman said. The group said she was held at the Government Technical Institute detention center in Rangoon for five days following the crackdown.

DVB, which has supplied reliable information in the past, also reported that a 48-year-old detainee, Than Aung, died September 30 at a detention center in Yangon. He was arrested on September 27, beaten in custody which left him with severe internal injuries, and died when he was not given immediate medical attention, the group said, citing sources close to the institute.

There was no way to independently confirm the reports attributed to freed prisoners.

In an interview with The Associated Press, another released prisoner, Zaw Myint, 45, said he was arrested September 26 on a Rangoon street after a soldier bashed his face with the butt of his gun, leaving a bloody gash across his cheek.

Zaw Myint said he was denied treatment for three days and then stitched up by a doctor at Rangoon's notorious Insein prison, after the physician had treated several wounded prisoners.

"He used the same needle to treat all patients. And I saw him give injections to wounded people using the same syringe," said Zaw Myint, who was released after a week in custody. He said was "extremely worried" about having contracted HIV as a result of the treatment. Rights groups say that Burma's prisons have soaring rates of HIV/AIDS.

DVB also released video of an unidentified man who said "dozens" of detainees died. Another man was quoted as saying he saw two people die from severe beatings at Rangoon City Hall. Authorities failed to give a boy medical treatment for a gunshot wound and even refused to let him drink water from a toilet before he died, the man was quoted as saying.

Human rights groups have long accused the military government of abuse and torture of prisoners. The Thailand-based Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, comprised of around 100 former inmates, has put out a report describing homosexual rape, electric shocks to the genitals, near drowning, burning with hot wax and other abuse.

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