Document - Myanmar: Travesties of Justice: Continued Misuse of the Legal System


Myanmar


Travesties of Justice – Continued Misuse of the legal system


Introduction

Despite releases of political prisoners in July 2005, Amnesty International remains concerned that the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) have continued to abuse the justice system to silence peaceful dissent. This misuse denies the rule of law and the enjoyment of basic political freedoms in the country, and human rights in Myanmar generally. People continue to be arrested and imprisoned in Myanmar solely on account of their peaceful exercise of the rights to freedom of expression, association, assembly and movement.

In a welcome move in July 2005 the authorities released more than 260 political prisoners. However, in the last 12 months they have arrested or sentenced at least 60 individuals for political reasons. Since July 2005, the authorities have penalized senior political figures with extraordinarily long prison sentences in secret trials; held individuals incommunicado, and prosecuted persons attempting to report on human rights violations.

Arrests and harassment of members and activists of registered political parties are continuing. On 27 November 2005 the SPDC renewed the detention of opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, without charge or trial, for a further six months. The continued use of detention to remove from the political process both senior political leaders and those petitioning for their release, is presenting a significant obstacle to resolving the political deadlock in the country.

Amnesty International renews longstanding calls by Myanmar citizens and members of the international community on the SPDC to immediately and unconditionally release all prisoners of conscience. The organization also calls on the Myanmar authorities to implement reform of judicial procedures and laws to uphold and protect human rights. The authorities must also eradicate torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. The organization also urges that discriminatory laws on citizenship and stringent travel restrictions are amended in order to end discrimination against the Rohingya ethnic group.

Amnesty International has long-standing concerns at the lack of judicial independence in Myanmar that has enabled the state to imprison political opponents. Furthermore the organization has repeatedly expressed concern to the authorities about the abuse of due process in political trials, and the denial of basic rights in detention. Individuals are routinely arrested without warrant; held incommunicado and tortured or ill-treated in pre-trial detention. Sentences have been handed down following trials which fall far short of international fair trial standards. For example defendants have been denied the right to legal counsel or to legal counsel of their own choice. Prosecutors have also relied on confessions extracted through torture. Prison conditions continue to be poor, and prisoners are being denied adequate nutrition and necessary medical treatment.

This document updates earlier reports listing prisoners of concern to Amnesty International issued in June 2005,(1) December 2004,(2) and April 2001,(3) and reiterates long-standing concerns on the administration of justice(4) in the country, and the treatment of more than 1160 political prisoners. A list of prisoners of conscience and possible prisoners of conscience follows this introduction. Other sources estimate that the figure of political prisoners may be significantly higher.

Amnesty International has gathered information on the situation of political prisoners in Myanmar from a variety of sources, including private individuals, members of political parties, official and opposition news media, and from visits to Myanmar and neighbouring countries. With the exception of press reports Amnesty International has omitted identifying details about individual or organizational sources for reasons of their security.

Political Background

The political situation in Myanmar remains tense. The SPDC is prioritizing implementation of a "road map" to democracy proposed by former Prime Minister Khin Nyunt ostensibly as a means of political reconciliation. This process continues despite the absence of major political parties and ceasefire groups.

The third session of the National Convention began on 5 December 2005. This process is drafting principles for a new constitution resumed on 5 December 2005. According to the "road map", the National Convention will be followed by the writing of a constitution, which will be subject to approval by referendum, and then by multi-party elections. In May 2005 the main opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD),(5) declined to attend the National Convention after its conditions for attendance were not met. These included that detained party leaders Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and U Tin Oo be released and that party offices be reopened.(6) The United Nationalities Alliance, a coalition of political representatives of Myanmar’s ethnic nationalities also declined to attend. In January 2005 the Committee Representing People’s Parliament, a coalition of MPs elect from the 1990 elections strongly criticised the National Convention process, calling into question its capacity to resolve issues of political reconciliation under current repressive conditions in which freedom of expression and association are denied.

Sessions of the National Convention have discussed the role of the judiciary and the legislature amid unresolved tensions with members of ceasefire and opposition groups over issues including the extent of devolution of legislative authority at state level, and the principle that the military have a guaranteed role in government.

Senior Shan political representatives arrested in February 2005 have been prosecuted under charges of treason, reportedly for initiating political discussions about the National Convention. Members of the group are reported to have been charged under a law promulgated in 1996 (Law 5/96), which provides for up to 20 years imprisonment for anyone who directly or indirectly instigates, protests, preaches, says, writes or distributes anything to disrupt the stability of the state, or to "undermine, belittle and make people misunderstand the functions being carried out by the National Convention." (7) This is believed to be the first prison sentence imposed under this law. Amnesty International is concerned that the provisions of Law 5/96 are vague and sweeping and criminalize the peaceful expression of political beliefs, and has called for its repeal.

In August 2005 the SPDC further accused members of the political opposition in exile, the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma (NCGUB), comprised of members of parliament (MP) elected in 1990 currently in exile, student group, the All Burma Students Democratic Front (ABSDF) and the Free Trade Union of Burma (FTUB) of being linked to bombings in Yangon in April and May 2005, which these organizations have denied. The authorities also implicated the Vigorous Burmese Student Warriors with responsibility for the attacks. They declared the NCGUB, ABSDF and FTUB to be unlawful associations under the 1908 Unlawful Associations Act. This means that anyone who is either a member, or in any way associated with these organizations, may be imprisoned. The Unlawful Associations Act allows the authorities to deem any association unlawful solely on the basis of the head of state’s opinion rather than on reason or evidence. Human rights standards on freedom of expression and association require that interference with this right must be necessary and proportionate to a threat posed. Associations whose methods are non-violent, which could include trade unions, political parties, student associations, or religious organizations, can arbitrarily be declared unlawful under these provisions.

During 2005, individuals, including teachers and doctors have been penalized for peaceful exercise of freedom of expression and association such as giving students information about the architects of Myanmar’s independence, and possessing videotapes of imprisoned opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, or literature criticizing a former head of state, General Ne Win. A Rohingya MP-elect and his family have been sentenced to up to 47 years’ imprisonment on account of discriminatory nationality laws, and his political activities.

International Developments

On 26 July 2005, the SPDC declined to assume the chair of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) which it had been scheduled to assume in July 2006, stating that it wished to concentrate its energies on implementing the "road map" to democracy. International pressure had been increasing on the Myanmar authorities to improve their human rights record before assuming the chairmanship. The authorities have since been reported in the state-controlled press attacking such pressure as "colonialist" and excessively interventionist.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) in June and November 2005 expressed concern at the failure of the SPDC to implement measures against forced unpaid labour. (8) It also expressed concern at the threat of and actual imprisonment of individuals for reporting forced labour, and at the Myanmar authorities’ obstruction of ILO investigations into complaints of forced labour. At the March 2006 meeting of the Governing Body the ILO will revisit whether to institute further measures against Myanmar should it continue not to take action against unpaid forced labour.

The United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution in December 2005, expressing grave concern at the systematic violation of human rights in Myanmar. In December 2005 the UN Security Council (SC) requested a briefing by the UN Secretary General on the human rights situation in Myanmar.

Torture and Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment

Torture in prisons

Prisoners protesting poor conditions during 2005 have faced torture and ill-treatment as a punishment. In June 2005, Amnesty International detailed the case of prisoners who were punished by prison authorities, including by being shackled, beaten, and made to perform pounzan.(9) The organization has received further reports of the beating by criminal prisoners of political prisoners in Insein Prison. In September 2005 a private tutor, U Aung Pe, serving a three year prison sentence for talking to his students about General Aung San, the father of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, was reportedly beaten by criminal prisoners. Prison authorities reportedly took no action against the perpetrators.

International standards prohibit the use of corporal punishment, shackling and other restraints and confinement in a dark cell as a punishment against detainees and prisoners. Such punishments violate the absolute prohibition on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (ill-treatment), which is a rule of customary international law binding on all states. Such punishments are also explicitly prohibited by Rules 31 and 33 of the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners. Nevertheless, the authorities in Myanmar continue regularly to use such methods against prisoners, particularly against individuals who have protested their conditions of detention, including by staging hunger strikes. While the authorities have frequently stated that the use of prisoners to discipline other prisoners is forbidden in Myanmar, it appears that they are continuing to use criminal prisoners to beat other prisoners, including political prisoners.

Torture and ill-treatment in pre-trial detention

Amnesty International has documented the pervasive and systematic use of torture by authorities in pre-trial detention, and believes that the practise is continuing.(10) There have been widespread reports that individuals in pre-trial interrogation continue to be tortured and ill- treated. Political activists who have been taken into detention for short-term questioning, have reportedly been beaten, denied sleep, and in some cases subjected to abusive language by the authorities. Doctors are reported to have found injuries consistent with torture on the body of Ko Aung Hlaing Win, an NLD member who was detained on 1 May 2005, and is reported to have died in custody on 7 May 2005.

Deaths in Custody

At least six deaths in custody have been reported since January 2005, in which individuals in pre-trial detention and prisons are suspected to have died either as a result of a lack of adequate medical attention or torture or ill-treatment. It is the responsibility of the state to initiate thorough, prompt and impartial investigations into the cause of death in suspicious circumstances. The UN Principles on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions state that such investigations should, where the established investigative procedures are inadequate, be conducted by an independent commission or similar procedure. The investigation should include an adequate autopsy, collection and analysis of all physical and documentary evidence and statements from witnesses. The findings should be made public. The bodies of the deceased should be returned to the families for burial.

No independent investigation is known to have taken place into the deaths that occurred in custody this year. Attempts by families to use the courts to secure such investigations have reportedly failed. Furthermore, authorities have in at least four cases reportedly cremated the bodies of those who died before their families were informed by security forces or prison authorities of their deaths, and no autopsies are known to have taken place.

In June 2005 Amnesty International raised concern about the deaths of at least three individuals reported to have died in pre-trial detention, including Ko Aung Hlaing Win,a member of the NLD Youth Wing. His family’s attempts to seek redress and an investigation into the circumstances of his death through the courts have since then met with rejection. On 1 May 2005, Ko Aung Hlaing Win, aged 30, who was married with a child, was taken into custody by plain-clothed members of the security forces. Ten days later the chief of an interrogation centre is reported to have visited his family members in Hlaing township, Yangon, and to have informed them that Ko Aung Hlaing Win had died of a heart attack during interrogation on 7 May 2005 and had already been cremated. The official is reported to have offered family members 100,000 kyat(11) as compensation, which they refused. Ko Aung Hlaing Win’s family, with the assistance of NLD lawyers, then attempted legal action to secure an investigation into the circumstances of his death . Their submission to the township court was rejected in June 2005. Their appeal to the township court was not allowed in September 2005, and the Supreme Court reportedly refused to admit their appeal in November 2005.

The death in May 2005 of Min Tun Wai, from Kyaukmaw, Mon state, was reported in September 2005 after his relatives contacted NLD lawyers for assistance in securing an investigation into the circumstances of his death. He is reported to have died shortly after being arrested and transferred to Mawlamyine Prison on 30 May 2005. Relatives were reportedly informed of his death the day after he was cremated.

In July 2005, Saw Stanford, a 40 year old Karen school teacher from Einme township, Ayeyarwaddy Division, was arrested with other villagers by members of the army searching for arms allegedly hidden in the village. He is reported to have died while being tortured during interrogation. Relatives are reportedly seeking an investigation with the assistance of NLD lawyers. The authorities, as with other deaths in pre-trial detention, had quickly offered compensation to relatives, and reportedly placed pressure on them not to publicize the death.

Aung Myint Thein, 37, a civil servant from Bago Division, who was arrested on 2 July 2005, died while on trial in Insein prison on 5 November 2005. Prison officials reportedly told his family that he had died of dysentery, and pressurised them to cremate him immediately. Sources in exile reported that he was suffering from lung disease. He was among prisoners referred to in a press conference given by the Myanmar Director-General of Police on 28 August 2005, and cited as having confessed to attending a training session on labour rights, gathering news and communicating it to opposition groups in exile. Confessions are frequently extracted through torture in Myanmar. Individuals with suspected links to the opposition in exile are reportedly most vulnerable to such treatment. It is not known if torture or ill-treatment was a cause or contributory factor in Aung Myint Thein’s death, but no autopsy is known to have taken place to determine the cause of his death.

Conditions of detention

The Myanmar authorities have a duty under rules of customary international law binding on all states to treat detainees and prisoners humanely; to provide prisoners with food of nutritional value adequate for health and strength; to provide the services of qualified medical officers within facilities; and to transfer prisoners and detainees who require specialist treatment to specialized institutions or to civil hospitals. Amnesty International is deeply concerned that authorities are failing, at times through neglect, and at times deliberately, to respect their international obligations fully in this regard.

Political prisoners are susceptible to a host of detention-related health problems, which have been caused or exacerbated by their treatment in detention. Medical care within prisons is woefully inadequate, with some prisons lacking adequate numbers of trained medical personnel, particularly Myaungmya, Sittway and Myingyan Prisons. Amnesty International has received reports of one prison where there are no medical personnel whatsoever. Specialist medical treatment is not available in many prisons, and in some cases when prison doctors recommend specialist treatment, prison authorities refuse or are slow to give consent.

Prisoners have an extremely poor diet, and are reliant on families for supplements of fresh food. Released prisoners regularly report that the diet provided by the prison is not adequate for survival. Many political prisoners require medical treatment after their release, and many suffer from ailments compounded by their poor diet. Prisoners who have been held for long terms of imprisonment, and often without regular access to their families, have health problems as a result of malnutrition, and particularly lack of vitamins and protein.

Malaria is endemic in Kalay Prison, Sagaing Division, and also reported at Thayet Prison. Heart disease, mental illnesses, hypertension and malnutrition-related disorders, including peripheral neuropathy, are common. There were reports in September 2005 of a cholera outbreak in Thayawaddy Prison, in which dozens of prisoners are reported to have died. Many prisoners are reported to have suffered from mental illnesses, including depression and schizophrenia, and not to receive specialist medical treatment for such problems.

Many prisoners are over 65, and suffer from common age-related illnesses, such as hypertension and heart disease. Among these prisoners is U Win Tin, a former editor, who has heart disease and spondylitis, and during his imprisonment has been in and out of prison hospital. His health has been compromised by his treatment in prison, including by being denied food and water for periods, and being made to sleep for protracted periods without bedding in a cell designed as a kennel for military dogs.

There are many prisoners with chronic health problems. Among these, Amnesty International is particularly concerned by the health situation of Dr. Than Nyein, 67 years old, a medical doctor, who has liver cirrhosis, heart disease, hypertension, and renal stones. Authorities are holding him after the expiry of his sentence under an administrative detention law(12) and have repeatedly transferred him to prisons where medical treatment is among the worst reported. Since late 2004 they have failed to act on prison doctors’ recommendations that he receive specialist medical treatment.

There have also been reports that prisoners have been refused medication necessary for long-term health problems. Su Su Nway, who reportedly suffers from heart disease, is reported not to have been permitted necessary medication after her imprisonment in October 2005. Amnesty International is also concerned by reports that the authorities failed to take into consideration the health of NLD township vice-chairman Hla Aye, who was reportedly undergoing medical treatment in hospital after a stroke, when he was required to appear in court in September 2005 for allegedly obstructing local authorities.

Many prisoners who were arrested for membership of armed opposition groups in the 1980s remain in prison – in some cases after the expiry of their sentences. There are at least 37 members of the Karen National Union(13) (KNU) who were detained between 1983 and 1986. There are reportedly at least 16 members of the Arakan Communist Party(14) (ACP) who have been imprisoned since 1986, among whom are individuals who are due for release. According to former prisoners, members of these groups are less likely to receive regular family visits so have less access to food to supplement their prison diet, and are therefore more likely to suffer from ill health and malnutrition related disorders. Many are reportedly in poor states of health.

Trials

Amnesty International remains concerned that trials for political prisoners in Myanmar continue to fall far short of international standards for fair trial. Individuals are held incommunicado for lengthy periods after arrest. The authorities frequently make statements about defendants before trials begin which are prejudicial to their right to be considered innocent until proven guilty. The right to a lawyer, or to a lawyer of one’s own choice is frequently denied. Political trials are often held in camera.

International standards recommend that detainees are not held for more than a very short period without access to relatives, doctors and lawyers. The UN Human Rights Committee and the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and other bodies have also expressed concern that lack of such access//such incommunicado detention facilitates torture and ill-treatment, and called for safeguards against it or for its elimination.

It has however been standard practice for some time in Myanmar for detainees to be held incommunicado for considerable periods of time after their arrest, and in most cases until they have been sentenced. During 2005 the situation worsened, and many individuals continue to be denied access to their families even after having been sentenced. In many cases prison authorities have reportedly denied access on the basis that orders from the government granting permission have not been given. A number of Shan politicians arrested in February 2005 have been denied access to family members, including after being sentenced in October 2005.

The SPDC has given periodic press conferences before or after political arrests naming detained individuals who they claim have been involved in anti-government activities. They have effectively declared these named individuals as guilty before they have been charged or tried. This continues to prejudice defendants’ rights to be presumed innocent until and unless "proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence", which is a fundamental principle of fair trial, enshrined in Article 11 (1) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and is a rule of customary international law binding on all states. Public officials should not go beyond factual statements in informing the public about criminal investigations, and should not state that persons arrested are guilty.

In August 2005,(15) the Director-General of the Myanmar Police gave a press conference detailing the organization of the gathering of news within Myanmar to be communicated outside the country. The Director-General gave the details of ten individuals or "culprits" who he alleged had gathered news about the situation in the country, or had attended meetings outside the country discussing labour rights. He repeatedly referred to the suspects as "hardcores", and stated that individuals arrested with possession of satellite phones had "collected unfounded news…… sent exaggerations through satellite phones so as to earn their livelihood…made interviews with BBC and spread exaggerated news many times". The individuals mentioned had not yet gone to trial.

The right to legal counsel, including to legal counsel of one’s choice underpins international fair trial standards. Prompt access to a lawyer following arrest, and regular access thereafter, provides detainees with essential opportunities to ensure that their defence can be prepared, and is a safeguard against torture and ill-treatment. Currently detainees have no or limited access to legal counsel or the facilities necessary to prepare their defence during pre-trial proceedings. This includes during interrogations in police custody, interviews with the prosecutor and during pre-trial hearings.

Four NLD members were reportedly arrested on 8 July 2005, and tried two days later and had limited access to legal counsel. They were reportedly sentenced to prison terms of between three and 10 years for having videotapes of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi making speeches while visiting party members, and for distributing a book criticizing Ne Win, the former head of Myanmar’s military government.

The right to a public hearing is guaranteed under international human rights standards. Article 11 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR) states: "1. Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence." The right to a public hearing means that not only the parties in the case, but also, with limited exceptions, the general public, have the right to be present. The public has a right to know how justice is administered, and what decisions are reached by the judicial system.

The right to a public hearing appears to be provided for under Myanmar law. Chapter II, Judicial Principles, of the Judiciary Law, 2000, was promulgated by the SPDC on 27 June 2000.(28) Section 2 of Chapter II states: "The administration of justice shall be based upon the following principles;…(e) dispensing justice in open court unless otherwise prohibited by law;…".

Amnesty International is concerned that defendants in political trials in 2005 were tried in camera, with their relatives and the public denied access. Shan political leaders; former Prime Minister Khin Nyunt, his family and other senior MI officials, and MPs elect are among those who have been tried in camera in recent years. Furthermore, information about trials held in camera is difficult to obtain, including for defendants and their lawyers. Defence lawyers have reportedly had great difficulty obtaining trial transcripts. as have defendants. All these factors have seriously hampered the ability of defendants to appeal their sentences judicially, as they do not have the means to prepare an appeal. (16)

Ongoing Arrests

Amnesty International has frequently expressed concerns to the SPDC that articles of Myanmar’s legislation excessively restrict the right to freedom of expression, association and assembly. The authorities continue to use these laws to detain peaceful government critics. The organization has also called for the amendment or repeal of certain security laws that are open to such wide interpretation that they may be used as a measure to diminish freedom of expression rather than as a legitimate defence of the security of the state. These include the 1962 Printers and Publishers Registration Act; the 1908 Unlawful Associations Act; the 1950 Emergency Provisions Act and the 1975 State Protection Law. These laws have been used to imprison many political prisoners and subject rights and freedoms to far greater restrictions than are permitted under international law.

Penalization of human rights defenders

Individuals in Myanmar are being imprisoned or harassed for protesting peacefully against human rights violations. The authorities continue to label reports on the human rights situation as gross exaggerations, and characterize legitimate activities in defence of the rule of law and human rights as activities intended to undermine the state.

In recent months, authorities have prosecuted individuals reporting on forced labour in Myanmar. Unpaid forced labour is in contravention of the ILO Convention No 29, to which Myanmar has acceded. Despite the criminalization of forced labour in Myanmar in 2000, the practice continues. At the June 2005 International Labour Conference (ILC), ILO officials registered concern that the Myanmar authorities had stated that "false complaints of forced labour were placing a great drain on government resources and undermining the dignity of the state…legal action would be taken against complainants or their representatives who lodged false complaints."(17)The ILO also reported that the authorities restricted the ILO liaison officer’s ability to investigate reports of forced labour, including by limiting his ability to travel freely outside of Yangon, his base. The state-controlled press has published reports attacking the ILO and the liaison officer has received over 30 death threats.

On 31 October 2005, U Aye Myint, a lawyer in his 50s, was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment for passing to the government complaints of farmers whose land had been confiscated by the local authorities. He reportedly helped farmers compose a letter to the authorities, which was then copied to the ILO liaison officer in Yangon. The lawyer was reportedly sentenced under the 1950 Emergency Provisions Act, section 5 [e], which allows for the imprisonment of anyone who does anything "intentionally to spread false news, knowing it to be false or having reason to believe that it is false" on the basis that it may then cause unrest. None of the farmers he has represented are known to have been prosecuted. All reportedly testified in U Aye Myint’s trial that he was acting in his professional capacity and carrying forward their legitimate complaints. U Aye Myint had been released in January 2005 from a death sentence, commuted to three years’ imprisonment, for treason imposed partly on the basis that he had communicated with the ILO. Another lawyer and MP elect, U Thein Zan, 67,and two others, are reportedly due to face trial for assisting relatives of a man who is alleged to have died during forced labour, report his death to the authorities.

Villager Su Su Nway, 34, successfully sued her village authorities in January 2005 for requiring her and fellow villagers to take part in forced labour. She has since then been harassed by local authorities. On 16 October 2005 she was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment for defamation of village officials following an unfair trial. Her sentence is believed to be linked to her success in suing village officials for forcing her and fellow villagers to work on a road construction project. Officials reportedly made death threats against her following the suit, and alleged that she had sworn at them.

Amnesty International urges the Myanmar authorities not to punish people who in good faith have submitted reports of human rights violations to government officials and to international organizations. The right to take part in the conduct of public affairs, to freedom of expression and to protest peacefully against human rights violations and government policies generally are rights recognized in international law and standards, including in the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. The SPDC must allow human rights defenders and other individuals unhindered access to and communication with international bodies on matters of human rights, and not prosecute or in other ways harass individuals for their peaceful exercise of this right.

Amnesty International is concerned that punitive acts by the state against human rights defenders, including members of civil society acting in a professional capacity, will further inhibit much needed initiatives to improve the human rights situation in Myanmar.

Right to freedom of expression

The right to freedom of expression is severely restricted in Myanmar, and there is no independent media. Rigid censorship regulations mean that in practice journalists are required to self censor heavily. The authorities have in the past prosecuted individuals for talking to independent journalists from other countries, and have characterised such activities as designed to discredit the state(18).

Amnesty International is concerned that the authorities continue to prosecute individuals solely on the basis that they have communicated information about events in the country that could not reasonably be construed as state secrets to individuals outside the country. Authorities routinely characterize the communication of information not approved by the state censor, including about forced labour, as "unfounded…exaggerated… fabricated".(19) They have further complained that the communication of such information to international organizations, for example, the, ILO, led to the ILO making "lopsided and unjust accusations against Myanmar and put pressure on her".

Peaceful political activities

Amnesty International is concerned that since June 2005 extremely lengthy sentences have been handed down for peaceful political activities. Political repression is intensifying against individuals across the opposition political spectrum. NLD offices, with the exception of the party’s headquarters, have remained closed since the attack on members and supporters of the NLD on 30 May 2003. Individuals raising concerns or discussing the National Convention have been particularly harshly penalized, including being sentenced to prison terms of up to 109 years. During 2005 five MPs-elect have been sentenced to prison terms of between seven and 93 years’ imprisonment. Two representatives of the Committee Representing People’s Parliament have been given lengthy prison terms. U Khun Htun Oo, MP elect and head of the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy, was sentenced in November 2005 to 93 years’ imprisonment. U Kyaw Min, an MP elect from the National Democratic Party for Human Rights, was sentenced to 47 years’ imprisonment in August 2005 on account of his political activities.

Members of registered political parties and activists continue to be harassed and arrested solely on the basis of their peaceful political activities. During 2005 NLD members, including township committee chairmen, have been sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment for distributing political leaflets approved by the official censor. U Aung Pewas arrested in February and sentenced in August 2005 to three years’ imprisonment for teaching school students about political veteran U Aung San, the father of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Dr Win Aung NLD chairman and medical doctor and U Khin Maung Win, a teacher, were sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment for possessing videotapes with speeches by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. They were arrested on 6 July 2005 and sentenced on 8 July 2005 together with U Soe Win Aung, a teacher who received a three-year prison sentence. Amnesty International considers them to be prisoners of conscience. Amnesty International has also received reports that a group of NLD members and one Democratic Party for a New Society member, U Ba Myint, UBa Tint, Ko Khin Kyaw, Aung Myo Sanand Thet Naing, arrested in December 2004 were sentenced to life imprisonment in July 2005, reportedly for distributing leaflets about the National Convention. Amnesty International is seeking more information about the nature of charges brought against them.

Since July 2005, NLD officials in Rakhine State, Sagaing Division, Yangon and Kachin state are reported to have been arrested on fabricated criminal charges, including gambling, foreign currency offences, and obstructing officials. Amnesty International is concerned by the very high level of harassment against political party members, including recent reports that professional licenses, including as private tutors, have been withdrawn on the basis of political affiliation. Authorities are reported to have threatened individuals in 2005, that should they engage in politics they may face long terms of imprisonment. Authorities have in the past taken measures to dissuade people from participation in opposition political activities. In past years civil servants have been threatened with dismissal in the past and state sponsored rallies have been organized against NLD MPs elect in their constituency. NLD MPs from Shan state and Sagaing Division, who were reportedly very politically active before their arrest, are serving sentences of between five and seven years’ imprisonment for minor infringements of export legislation and vehicle licensing. At least one had been under pressure from local authorities before his arrest to resign from his position as MP-elect.

In March 2005 U Kyaw Min, National Democratic Party for Human Rights (NDPHR) MP elect of Bohtataung, Rakhine state and member of the Committee Representing the People’s Parliament (CRPP), was arrested. He is believed to have been held in incommunicado detention since his arrest. U Kyaw Min was sentenced to 47 years’ imprisonment in August 2005. His wife, two daughters and son, were arrested in May 2005 and also sentenced to 17 years’ imprisonment. It is not known whether U Kyaw Min and his family, who were sentenced in what is believed to have been a secret trial, had access to legal counsel.

U Kyaw Min and his family are Rohingyas. As such, they, like other are subject to host of discriminatory treatment by law, including denial of citizenship and freedom to travel without official permission. The Rohingya, Muslims of Bengali origin, are denied citizenship in Myanmar under discriminatory legislation on nationality. However, despite this restriction, the Rohingya were allowed to vote and to contest seats in the 1990 elections. It is believed that U Kyaw Min was penalized on the basis of his peaceful political activities, and that the authorities have also prosecuted him and his family for infringing discriminatory legislation on citizenship. Amnesty International believes that they are prisoners of conscience.

Nine senior political representatives of the Shan ethnic nationality were sentenced on 3 November 2005 to prison terms of up to 109 years on charges of treason, "discrediting the nation", disrupting the National Convention, flouting stringent censorship laws and for economic offences. They had been arrested immediately before the convening of the National Convention in February 2005. Authorities prosecuted them for taking part in a political meeting of senior representatives of the Shan ethnic nationality on Shan National Day, 7 February 2005. The meeting was hosted by the Shan New Generation Youth political party, and was attended by political representatives. Khun Htun Oo, the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD) chairman MP-elect and member of the CRPP ;(20) the party’s General Secretary Sai Nyunt Lwin; SNLD Central Committee member Sai Hla Aung; Shan State Peace Council(SSPC) (21) and United Nationalities League for Democracy(22) chair General Hso Ten; Shan New Generation Youth members U Myint Than, Myo Win Tun, Sai Nyi Moe, Tun Nyo, U Ba Thinand U Shwe Ohn(23)aged 82, author and lawyer. After they were arrested, authorities stated that the group had been discussing a common position among political representatives of ethnic nationality political parties, and to agree principles for the political future of Shan State.

The group were sentenced to extraordinarily lengthy prison terms on charges of treason, discrediting the state, and specifically for discussing the National Convention. They received smaller prison terms for infringing foreign currency and import and export legislation – which is reportedly widely flouted throughout the country. Amnesty International believes that the group have been harshly penalized primarily for engaging in peaceful political discussions, and is calling for their immediate and unconditional release. U Khun Htun Ooand General Hso Tenwere sentenced to 93 and 106 years’ respectively on charges under the penal code, for insurrection, discrediting the nation, and under Law 5/96 which criminalizes any discussion of the National Convention that authorities considers undermines stability or "national reconsolidation". General Hso Ten was also sentenced under the Printers and Publishers Registrations Act, which allows the prosecution of individuals who distribute any form of written material without authorization of the official censor.

U Shwe Ohn has been held under house arrest without charge or trial. U Khun Htun Oo and his co-defendants were tried over several months in camera in Insein Prison in proceedings that failed to meet international fair trial standards. They were denied access throughout the trial to lawyers of their choice. In press conferences in March and April 2005 the authorities made statements which would have compromised the fairness of their trial. They presented allegations as fact and characterized the political discussion as "detrimental"(24)to the SPDC’s objectives of upholding "three main national causes – non-disintegration of the union, non disintegration of national solidarity and perpetuation of sovereignty"(25)and that the discussion would lead to the disintegration of the union. In subsequent press conferences in April and again in May 2005 government officials stated that the Shan State Army–South,(26) the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy(27)and Shan State Intellectual Advisory Council planned to "form a nominal union and later secede from the union"(28), and had encouraged armed opposition groups to discuss matters pertaining to the significance of the forthcoming National Convention, which they were scheduled to attend. On 22 April 2005, authorities stated that they had "exposed their conspiracies and protected the union from disintegration in time".(29)

Amnesty International is also concerned by the high level of secrecy in which members of this group were tried. They were denied access to their families during and after their trial. Their families were reportedly not informed by the authorities of their sentences. Members of the group were sent, without having access to relatives, to prisons very distant from their homes. In some cases it take several days to travel to these prisons, including Putao, Kachin State, where conditions are harsh. Amnesty International is concerned that this may affect their ability to have access to lawyers to appeal their sentences.

Sao Oo Kya, a senior representative of the Shan ethnic nationality, was arrested in early August 2005. He is a cousin of U Khun Htun Oo (see above), and in February 2005 became a member of the Shan State Intellectuals Advisory Body, as a representative of the Shan State National Army (SSNA).(30) Sao Oo Kya, also known as Donald, was sentenced to 13 years’ imprisonment in September 2005. According to unconfirmed reports, he was sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment for attempting to excite disloyalty toward the state under section 124 (a) of the Myanmar Penal Code. The court is reported to have justified his conviction on the basis of comments that two tourists had written in the guestbook of the palace where he resides and that he had accepted donations from these visitors for the maintenance of the building. Amnesty International believes that he may be a prisoner of conscience.

Prosecution of"underground" activists

In a press conference on 28 August 2005, the authorities’ detailed allegations against a group of individuals whom they alleged had contact with the FTUB in Thailand. The group were sentenced in November 2005 to between eight and 25 years’ imprisonment, and include Wai Lin, Than Oo aka Ko Ye, Myint Lwin, aged 77, Win Myint, lawyer U Hla Myint aka Hla Myint Than, Daw Thaung ,Ma Aye Chan, Aye Thi Khaing and Daw Yin Kyi.

Amnesty International is concerned that among the charges laid against the group include acts which would be considered to be legitimate exercise of the right to freedom of expression.

Authorities alleged that individuals, including NLD members were allegedly trained by the FTUB on how to "collect all sorts of news including those on peasants, workers, as well as natural disasters and to exaggerate them with intent to destabilize the country and create unrest."(31) Members of the group, particularly Wai Lin, Than Oo, Myint Lwinand Win Myintwere also accused of speaking to the British Broadcasting Corporation and spreading "exaggerated news many times".(32) The authorities further stated in the press conference that individuals in Thailand had "obtained fabricated news" from individuals arrested, and made complaints with the information to the ILO to destabilize the state and "endanger the lives and properties of the people".(33) Amnesty International is further concerned that members of the group may have been subjected to ill-treatment, particularly following reports of the death in custody of Myint Lwin’s son, Aung Myint Thein.

Sentencing of former Prime Minister Khin Nyunt

Amnesty International is concerned that there have also been unfair judicial procedures used against former Prime Minister General Khin Nyunt and his former employees and allies. Former Prime Minister Khin Nyunt, who also headed Myanmar’s Military Intelligence Service (MIS), was arrested on 19 October 2004. On 22 July 2005 he was given a 44 year suspended sentence and remains confined in his house with his wife, who was also arrested. He had been sentenced on charges of bribery, corruption and insubordination. His sons, Zaw Naing Oo and Ye Naing Win, a businessman who ran a publishing company and a data communications and internet company, are also under house arrest after receiving suspended sentences of 68 and 51 years’ imprisonment respectively for economic crimes and violations of import and export regulations. The trial was conducted in camera in Insein Prison Correctional Facility Jail.

While full information about the charges, sentences and individuals prosecuted is not available, reports suggest that an unknown number of individuals in some way associated with Khin Nyunt may have also been sentenced under charges relating solely to their peaceful exercise of freedom of expression and association. For example, businessman Sonny Swe, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the semi-independent publication The Myanmar Times,was among those sentenced. He was charged under the Press and Publications Act and sentenced to 14 years’ imprisonment – it is believed that he was sentenced because The Myanmar Timeswas published without the permission of the official censorship board, and because of his family’s proximity to former Prime Minister Khin Nyunt. Amnesty International is concerned that he may be a prisoner of conscience, and is calling on the SPDC to provide full information including the names of other individuals arrested in connection with the recent crackdown on former Prime Minister Khin Nyunt and the nature of charges against all of them.

Misuse of security legislation to imprison non-citizens

Amnesty International is concerned that many members of the Rohingya(34) ethnic group have been imprisoned for travelling without permission from the local authorities. AI considers these restrictions on freedom of movement on the basis of ethnicity to be discriminatory and unlawful, and calls for those individuals imprisoned for travelling without permission to be immediately and unconditionally released from prison.

Amnesty International is concerned by the official restrictions on travel for the Rohingya population, which are disproportionate and discriminatory. The United Nations Human Rights Committee(35) has stated that in applying laws restricting freedom of movement, states must demonstrate that restrictions are based on clear legal grounds and meet the test of necessity and requirements of proportionality. Amnesty International calls for the release of any person imprisoned solely for infringing these discriminatory travel restrictions.

Individuals from the Rakhine state, have been prosecuted under the 1950 Emergency Provisions Act, section 5 [j] for travelling without permission. In court judgements seen by Amnesty International, the sole justification for the use of security legislation has been that by infringing state directives, individuals have acted to harm the security of the Union of Myanmar. The 1950 Emergency Provisions Act, section 5 [j] does not use precise criteria to determine what constitutes a threat to national security. Amnesty International is concerned that, in the court judgements it has seen, sentences have been handed down solely on the basis of travelling without a permit, and that this would not constitute an adequate justification to condemn individuals on the basis that their actions threaten state security.

Amnesty International believes that Rohingyas imprisoned solely for travelling without official permission are being punished in a discriminatory and arbitrary fashion. Many Rohingyas, who are Muslims of Bengali origin and in many cases have been resident in Rakhine state for generations, are not recognized as citizens by the Myanmar authorities and are therefore effectively stateless. Under Myanmar’s 1982 Citizenship Law, nationality is subject to being a member of a recognized ethnic group, regardless of the length of time an individual or his or her family have permanently resided in the country. As the Rohingyas are not considered to be a national ethnic group under the 1982 Citizenship Law, they are ineligible for full citizenship. Amnesty International has called on the SPDC to repeal these discriminatory provisions on citizenship which solely on the basis of their ethnicity deny Rohingyas the right to a nationality even when they are children born in the country or individuals who have a genuine and effective link to the country who would otherwise be stateless.(36)

Most Rohingyas are considered by the Myanmar authorities to be resident foreigners, and as such are subjected to a range of restrictions on their rights. Travel restrictions have been applied against Rohingyas under laws on citizenship and under a decree issued by state authorities requiring Rohingyas to apply for official permission to travel outside and within Rakhine state, the state where the majority of them are resident. Permission to travel outside Rakhine state is infrequently granted by the authorities. Scores of Rohingyas have been imprisoned solely for travelling outside Rakhine state without authorization. Many Rohingyas have for extended periods lived outside Rakhine state without officials enforcing legal restrictions. Individuals travelling from Rakhine state to visit relatives, including parents, resident in other parts of the country, have been sentenced to prison terms for travelling to visit them without permission. Citizens of Myanmar do not generally require permission to travel, except to areas demarcated as zones of internal armed conflict, and are only required by law to travel with valid documentation of their identity and to register themselves as guests when staying outside their normal place of registration.

The SPDC is also reported to have issued a decree in 2004 prohibiting, on grounds of state security, Rohingyas and residents of Rakhine state with citizenship, namely Kamans (non Rohingya Muslims) and "Brahmans", from travelling to Yangon. Amnesty International is concerned that restrictions on movement included in this decree may be arbitrary and discriminatory.

Extension of sentences by Executive Order under the 1975 State Protection Law.

The SPDC is continuing to use legislation which allows the Home Minister to detain without charge or trial anyone he believes may endanger the state. Such detention orders are often repeatedly renewed. Prolonged detention without charge or trial is in contravention of international human rights standards Amnesty International is also concerned that this law does not define what constitutes "a danger to the state" and thereby has allowed the authorities to arbitrarily detain people for peaceful political activities Amnesty International reiterates calls on the SPDC to repeal or amend this law to bring it into line with international standards.

On 27 November 2005 the authorities issued a new order extending the detention of opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyifor a further six months. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has been under house arrest at her home or unacknowledged detention for more than 10 of the last 16 years. She has been most recently held without charge or trial since 30 May 2003, as has U Tin Oo,78, vice-chairman of the NLD, His detention was extended by a further year on 13 February 2005.

After Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and U Tin Oo were detained, the SPDC stated that they and other NLD members were being held "for their own security…under temporary protective custody" and that measures would be lifted "as soon as the situation returns to normal". Authorities have for a number of years given assurances that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, will be released but have failed to provide any reliable schedule for releases beyond promising that they will do so when "the time is right".(37). In late July 2003 Foreign Minister U Win Aung stated that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi would be released "when the time comes... I can’t see a timeframe right now" and also added about her detention that "We don’t have any intention to prolong that arrangement. We are waiting for the cool down"(38) In October 2003 the authorities said that "we do not call it house arrest or anything like that(39)"(40) and added that she will be released "eventually."At the beginning of December 2004 Thai authorities reported General Than Shwe saying that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, would be released but "whenever Aung San Suu Kyi is released some trouble has happened. They need time to arrange everything and finish several meetings. "

U Shwe Ohn, an 82 year old Shan political veteran and retired lawyer, has been held under house arrest since he took part in a political meeting of Shan politicians on 7 February 2005. Authorities have publicly stated that he played a major part in the organization of the meeting. There have been unconfirmed reports that authorities have ordered his detention for one year under the 1975 State Protection Law.

Other prominent political leaders are being held beyond the end of their prison sentence under this legislation. Myat San, a former bodyguard of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and member of the All Burma Federation of Student Unions, is being detained in prison after the expiry of his sentence. He had served a sentence for taking part in student demonstrations celebrating Aung San Suu Kyi receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in December 1991. He is reported to be suffering from ill-health. NLD MPs elect and medical doctors, Dr. Than Nyein and Daw May Win Myint have had detention orders extended by a year. Both were not released after serving sentences of seven years’ imprisonment after arranging for NLD leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to meet with party members in September 1997. Both are in poor states of health.

Amnesty International reiterates calls on the SPDC to immediately and unconditionally release the above prisoners of conscience.

Releases

On 6 July 2005 at least 260 political prisoners were released from prisons across Myanmar. Among them were a number of individuals whose imprisonment was known to Amnesty International and who were imprisoned for their peaceful political activities. Their release was strongly welcomed. It should also be noted that among the group were individuals who were close to the end of their sentence, with time off due for good behaviour. Information on some of the individuals known to Amnesty International who were released is attached in appendix I.

Amnesty International is concerned by the treatment of U Win Tin, 75, Myanmar’s longest serving prisoner of conscience, who has arrested in July 1989. According to reports, he was informed on 6 July 2005 that he would be released, and would need to meet with the Minister of Home Affairs beforehand. He was, however, not released but returned to his prison cell. Officials had also named U Win Tin, as one of the prisoners to be released in November 2004, but he had remained in detention.. Amnesty International continues to call for his immediate and unconditional release.

Amnesty International welcomes the release of prisoners of conscience. The organization also believes that the Myanmar authorities should establish a genuinely independent judicial procedure for reviewing convictions and sentencing for political offences, applying international human rights standards, including the rights to freedom of opinion and expression and freedom of peaceful assembly and association, and release all prisoners who were imprisoned solely for the peaceful exercise of these rights. The Myanmar authorities acknowledged that the justice system had been misused to detain political opponents in November 2004, when it announced the suspension of the sentences of prisoners. They maintained that these persons had been wrongfully imprisoned by security services under the command of former Prime Minister Khin Nyunt.

Amnesty International has been informed by former political prisoners that in the lead up to their release from prison, authorities asked them questions about their political attitudes. In many cases, it appeared that individuals who stated that they did not plan to resume any form of political activity were more likely to be released. Amnesty International is concerned that political attitudes favourable to authorities should not be considered a factor in the release of prisoners, particularly if they should never have been imprisoned in the first place.

Prisoners offered early release before the end of their sentences have often had conditions attached to their release under section 401 of the Criminal Procedure Code, which allows authorities to re-imprison individuals without warrant, and require them to serve the remainder of their sentence, should authorities believe they have not fulfilled the conditions of their release. Conditions of early release have included not engaging in political activities. This prison "debt" of unserved time from previous political imprisonment has repeatedly been employed by the authorities to threaten and harass former prisoners and make them desist from political activities. A number of prisoners featured on the appended list, including U Kyaw Sanand U Aye Myint were arrested and sentenced for acts of peaceful dissent, within months of their release from prison during a mass release of prisoners.

RECOMMENDATIONS


A) Recommendations to the government of Myanmar:

Amnesty International urges all members of the international community, and particularly fellow ASEAN member states, make use of every opportunity in both bilateral and multilateral fora to ensure the SPDC implement the following recommendations.


Amnesty urges the State Peace and Development Council to adopt the following measures:


With regard to prisoners of conscience and political prisoners


1. Stop arresting people solely for the peaceful exercise of their rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly and to immediately and unconditionally release any person who has been arrested for the peaceful exercise of these rights.


2. Make public information about the charges preferred against all political prisoners or "security detainees" and of members of Military Intelligence personnel, and any former personal or business associates of former Prime Minister Khin Nyunt, their sentences and current whereabouts.


3. Review the convictions of all political prisoners and ensure that any who have been unfairly tried be re-tried promptly and in accordance with international fair trial standards, or released, and institute a clear transparent mechanism to ensure a truly independent judicial review is conducted.


With regard to procedures for arrest, detention and trial, including of political prisoners


4. Ensure that all detainees have the right to promptly challenge the lawfulness of their detention before a court, and ensure that they are released if their detention is found to be illegal. Article 100 of the Code of Criminal Procedure should be changed to establish an accessible procedure for detainees, their families, and their lawyers to challenge the legality of a detention.


5. Ensure that all political detainees are either released or promptly charged with recognizably criminal offences and tried by procedures which conform to international standards of fair trial, including the right to legal counsel, the right to presumption of innocence, the right to a public trial, the right to defend oneself, and the right to adequate time and resources to prepare a defence.


6. Ensure that all political detainees have access to legal counsel promptly following arrest and regularly thereafter, and have adequate time to prepare a defence. Detainees should have the right to meet with their lawyers privately.


7. Prohibit incommunicado detention and ensure that all prisoners have immediate, confidential, and regular access to relatives, doctors, and lawyers.


8. Ensure that the military does not manipulate the judiciary, whether directly or indirectly, so that courts may determine cases impartially and independently.


9. Ensure that officials, including government Ministers, refrain from conduct that jeopardizes the rights of the accused to a fair trial. This includes ending the practice by some officials of making public remarks that prejudge the guilt of political suspects.


10. Ensure that members of the judiciary have security of tenure; proper training, including in international human rights standards. and freedom from interference by the executive branch of the government. Ensure that all trials are held in public.


11. Ensure that all persons convicted of crimes have the right to appeal to a higher tribunal.


12. Review all criminal laws relating to freedom of expression and association, particularly the 1950 Emergency Provisions Law; the 1975 State Protection Law; the 1962 Printers and Publishers Law and the 1908 Illegal Associations Law and reform them so that the laws are clear and specific, and do not breach the internationally recognized right to freedom of expression and association.


13. In particular, repeal Law No 5/96, the provisions of which allow for up to 20 years’ imprisonment of anyone who drafts a constitution without official permission and otherwise criminalizes the right to freedom of expression and assembly.


14. Repeal any provisions in the 1975 State Protection Law allowing for detention by executive order without charge or trial.


15. Keep procedures for detention and investigation under regular review. All prisoners should be promptly told of their rights, including the right to lodge complaints about their treatment.


16. Abolish all laws, orders, regulations, policies and practice which allow incommunicado detention.


17. Abolish all secret or unofficial places of detention and interrogation under Myanmar law. It should be a punishable offence for any official to hold a person in a secret and/or unofficial place of detention.


18. Ensure in law and in practice that anyone who is arrested is informed, at the time of arrest, of the reasons for their arrest and is promptly informed of any charges against them.


19. Ensure that all detainees receive a medical examination soon after they are arrested, and are provided with proper medical care.


With regard to conditions of detention


20. Ensure that detainees and prisoners in every prison, labour camp, and other detention facility in Myanmar are treated humanely, and with the respect due to their inherent dignity and value as human beings.


21. Ensure that all detainees and prisoners are held in conditions which meet international standards, and are provided with adequate accommodation, hygiene, food and medical care on a timely basis, and that all prisoners are supplied with mosquito nets.


22. Ensure that all detainees and prisoners have opportunities for socialization with one another; and that all prisoners have ready access to reading and writing materials.

With regard to torture and ill-treatment


23. Define torture in law, according to internationally accepted definitions, as a specific crime of the utmost gravity in the Myanmar Penal Code, and issue clear orders to all members of the security forces not to torture or otherwise ill-treat anyone in their custody.


24. Introduce measures to safeguard against the use of torture and ill-treatment in interrogation, and to ensure that no evidence extracted as a result of such treatment is admissible in court, for example by recording the questioning of suspects and ensuring that such recordings are made available to defendants and their legal representatives.


25. All detainees must be brought before a judicial authority promptly after being taken into custody and have prompt access to lawyers, medical professionals and their families.


26. Initiate prompt, effective, independent, and impartial investigations into all allegations of torture or ill-treatment, whether they are held in prisons or other official places of detention. Where there is evidence of torture, bring to justice all suspected perpetrators, including those who had ordered or acquiesced to torture or ill-treatment, in proceedings which meet international standards of fairness.


27. Ensure that confessions or other evidence obtained through torture are never invoked in legal proceedings, except as proof of torture or ill-treatment.


With regard to disciplinary measures within prisons


28. Ensure that disciplinary measures within prisons do not constitute torture or other forms of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, that shackling and corporal punishment are not used as a form of punishment, and that all reports of such treatment are promptly, independently and effectively investigated and perpetrators are prosecuted in proceedings which meet international standards of fairness.


With regard to all reported deaths in custody


29. Independently and impartially investigate all reports of deaths in custody, and where the death occurred as a result of unlawful acts by officials or other persons, promptly bring perpetrators to justice in proceedings which meet international standards of fairness. Give families of the deceased and their lawyers access to information about the investigation procedure, and to other forms of redress, including compensation.


With regard to the harassment of released political prisoners and their families


30. Ensure that former prisoners, political activists and their families are not subjected to arbitrary detention, discrimination or harassment.


With regard to the International Community


31. Implement the recommendations of United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/C.3/60/L.53 on the situation of Human Rights in Myanmar, adopted by the General Assembly in November 2005, and of the UN Commission on Human Rights E/CN.4/2005/, and grant the UN Special Rapporteur on Myanmar and the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy on Myanmar unimpeded access to the country.


Accede without reservations to international human rights treaties, in particular the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its protocols; the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and its protocol; and the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination.


List of Prisoners of conscience and Possible Prisoners of Conscience in Myanmar.


This list gives details of a selected number of individuals whom Amnesty International believes have, or may have been imprisoned in Myanmar on account of their peaceful exercise of the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly, and of those held without charge or trial under the State Protection Law.Amnesty International calls for the immediate and unconditional release of anyone among the more than 1,350 political prisoners in Myanmar who has been penalized solely for their peaceful exercise of these rights

1.

Name / AgeAUNG KO OO / Male, not knownHe was arrested with four others for the formation without official permission of a student union, distributing a statement about the student union to several universities, and planning to hold a students' conference on Human Rights Day, 10 December 2003. He was allegedly the student union's Executive Committee member. It is believed that he and others were tortured during interrogation.



Political Party / Role / Place

Thingangyun, Yangon





Sentence / Legislation

13 years / SLORC Law 6/1988





Date of Arrest

16 July 2003





Prison Held

Insein Prison





Health Concerns






Torture Concern

YES





Profession

Student







2.

Name / Age

AUNG KYAW OO AKA KYAW WIN THEIN

He has served a sentence for alleged contact with the ABSDF, and is now serving his second sentence, received while he was still imprisoned. He received a second sentence for writing a poem while imprisoned in Insein Prison, which was reportedly included in a magazine prepared by prisoners to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Yangon University. A total of 24 prisoners were given sentences at the beginning of 1996 in connection with their circulation of news within the prison, their preparation of a magazine, and their attempts to report on human rights violations in the prison. While authorities investigated the incident many were held in cells designed for military dogs, made to sleep on concrete floors without bedding and deprived of food and water. They were also reportedly denied legal representation at their trial, at which a number reported that they had been tortured. Two persons sentenced at this time subsequently died in custody, one of whom was arrested at the same time and was the same age as Aung Kyaw Oo.




Political Party / Role / Place

alleged ABSDF, from Yangon





Sentence / Legislation

10 or 12 years + 7 years / 1950 EPA, 5[j,] [e], UAA, 17 (1), PPRA 17/20





Date of Arrest

August 1991





Prison Held

Tharawaddy





Health Concerns

liver, kidney disease, various health problems





Torture Concern

YES





Profession

Student







3.

Name / Age

AUNG KYI or GYI, male

He was arrested with four others for the formation without official permission of a student union, distributing a statement about the student union to several universities, and planning to hold a students' conference on Human Rights Day, 10 December 2003. He was allegedly the student union's chair. It is believed that he and others were tortured during interrogation.




Political Party / Role / Place

South Okkalappa 1 Yangon





Sentence / Legislation

15 years / SLORC law 6/88, 1950 EPA, 5 (j), PPRA, 17/20







d Date of Arrest

14 June 2003





Prison Held

Insein





Health Concerns






Torture Concern

YES





Profession

Student ( Law)







4.

Name / Age

AUNG PE AKA MAUNG MAUNG OO/ Male, 40

He was sentenced to a prison term on 25 August 2005. He had been reportedly arrested after he gave his pupils information about General Aung San, one of the architects of Myanmar’s independence from Britain, and the father of detained opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. He reportedly put his picture in the classroom and sang a song in his honour. U Aung Pe was reportedly sentenced for infringing legislation on the licensing of private tutors. He was badly beaten by criminal prisoners in Insein Prison in September 2005, and the authorities reportedly did not intervene.




Political Party /

Role / Place

Not known

Twante, Yangon Division





Sentence /

Legislation

3 years imprisonment





Date of Arrest

February 2005





Prison Held

Insein Prison





Health Concerns






Torture Concern

Yes





Profession

Private tuition teacher





5.

Name / Age

AUNG SAN SUU KYI (DAW) / f, 1945

She has been detained since she and NLD members travelling on party business in Upper Myanmar were violently attacked, in what is believed to have been a state orchestrated operation. Authorities stated that she and other NLD members were being held under "protective custody." She was held incommunicado in an undisclosed location for more than four months until September 2003 when she was put under house arrest after undergoing surgery. She was reportedly informed in November 2004 that she was being held under the 1975 State Protection Law, which allows detention without charge or trial on executive order. Her detention was extended by a further six months in November 2005.

She was held under house arrest between July 1989 and May 1995 and between September 2000 and May 2002, and in intervening periods has had her movement severely restricted. She has never been charged or tried for any of these periods of detention. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize while under house arrest in 1991.




Political Party / Role / Place

NLD General Secretary





Sentence / Legislation

none / 1975 SPL, 10 (b)





Date of Arrest

30 May 2003





Prison Held

House arrest





Health Concerns






Torture Concern






Profession








6.

Name / Age

AUNG SOE MYINT / Male, not known

He was arrested for possessing a motorcycle without license, and had been arrested after a minor accident in which the injured party did not wish to pursue a complaint. It is believed that he has been selectively prosecuted on behalf of his political activities, as the possession of motorcycles without license is widespread and individuals are reportedly seldom prosecuted for this offence. He was reportedly tortured in pre-trial detention, and has had health problems in detention.




Political Party / Role / Place

NLD MP elect, Taungoo Bago Division





Sentence / Legislation

7 years





Date of Arrest

19 August 2003





Prison Held

Insein Prison


vertalt

Health Concerns

Diabetes, high blood pressure



Torture Concern






Profession








7.

Name / Age

AUNG TUN

He was arrested with a group of students and veteran political activists for allegedly writing a history of the student movement and its prominent role in political activism in Myanmar. He had reportedly coordinated the writing of the document, which ran into several volumes. Veteran student activists from the previous 40 years were arrested and sentenced at the same time, at least two of whom have reportedly died in prison. He was reportedly tortured during interrogation. This is his second period of detention as a result of his political activities.




Political Party / Role / Place

ABFSU CC member





Sentence / Legislation

17 years / 1950 EPA, 5 [j], UAA, 17 (1), PPRA 17/20





Date of Arrest

17 February 1998





Prison Held

Insein Prison





Health Concerns






Torture Concern

YES





Profession

Student







8.

Name / Age

AYE AUNG / dob c. 1974

Aye Aung was arrested in connection with peaceful demonstrations by students in favour of convening parliament. He is believed to have distributed leaflets to the public. He is being held 680 miles from his home, a journey of more than 14 hours by public transport, in a prison where malaria is endemic.



(photograph from Myanmar TV broadcast of SPDC press conference on recent arrests, October 1998)




Political Party / Role / Place

ABFSU / Thingangyun Yangon





Sentence / Legislation

24 or 45 years / EPA 5 [j], UAA 17 (1)





Date of Arrest

14 September 1998





Prison Held

Kalay Prison





Health Concerns

malaria and typhoid





Torture Concern






Profession

Student (Physics)









9.

Name / Age

AYE KYU (U) AKA MONYWA AUNG SHIN / Male, at least 60

He was sentenced for allegedly writing a statement calling for the lifting of restrictions recently placed on the NLD, including the release of senior party leaders from house arrest. At least four other senior NLD members were sentenced with him, and accused by authorities of attempting to incite unrest, and breaking laws that require any printed material to be approved by the official censor. His health is reportedly poor.




Political Party / Role / Place

NLD DOC vice chair, NLD CEC member / Monywa Township Sagaing Division





Sentence / Legislation

21 yrs / 1950 EPA, 5 [j], PPRA 17/20





Date of Arrest

14/09/00





Prison Held

Insein





Health Concerns

Asthma and respiratory problems





Torture Concern






Profession

Journalist / Poet

i0







10.






Name / Age

Aye Myint (U)

U Aye Myint was arrested for passing to the government complaints of farmers whose land had been confiscated by the local authorities. He reportedly helped farmers compose a letter to the authorities, which was then copied to the ILO liaison officer in Yangon. None of the farmers he has represented are known to have been prosecuted, and all reportedly testified in U Aye Myint’s trial that he was professionally carrying forward their legitimate complaints. The lawyer was sentenced under emergency legislation which allows for the imprisonment of anyone who does anything "intentionally to spread false news, knowing it to be false or having reason to believe that it is false" on the basis that it may then cause unrest. His family is reported to have been denied access to him after his arrest. U Aye Myint had been released from prison in January 2005. He had been sentenced in 2003 for passing information and news to political groups in exile, and communicating with the International Labour Organization. He had been sentenced to death, which was reduced to three years' imprisonment in 2004 on appeal. He is reported to be in a poor state of health.




Political Party /

Role / Place

Bago Division





Sentence /

Legislation

Seven years





Date of Arrest

31 October 2005





Prison Held

Bago





Health Concerns

Yes





Torture Concern






Profession

Lawyer







11.

Name / Age

BA MYO THEIN AKA KO MYO / c. 38

He was arrested in 1991 for alleged connections to the CPB, and has served this part of his sentence. He was given a second term of imprisonment with a group of prisoners while in prison in 1996, for taking part in the gathering of information on human rights violations in Insein Prison to transmit to the United Nations. A total of 24 prisoners were given sentences at the beginning of 1996 in connection with their circulation of news within the prison, their preparation of a magazine, and their attempts to report on human rights violations in the prison. While authorities investigated many were held in cells designed for military dogs, made to sleep on concrete floors without bedding during winter months, and deprived of food and water. They were also reportedly denied legal representation at their trial, at which a number stated that they had been tortured. He is being detained 340 miles from his home, a journey of approximately 10 hours by road.




Political Party / Role / Place

Alleged CPB, Yangon





Sentence / Legislation

Seven + 12 years/ 1950 EPA, 5 [e] + [j], UAA 17 (1) Penal code 6A





Date of Arrest

05/02/1991





Prison Held

Thayet Prison





Health Concerns






Torture Concern






Profession

Civil Servant









12.

Name / Age

HAN SEIN (U)

U Han Sein was arrested on account of his alleged possession and distribution of the "New Era" journal. Ten others were sentenced on similar charges.




Political Party / Role / Place

NLD / Pabedan (Yangon Division)





Sentence / Legislation

20 years imprisonment / UAA 17(1); 1950 EPA, 5(J), PPRA 17/ 20





Date of Arrest

10 August 1993





Prison Held

Tharawaddy Prison, Bago Division





Health Concerns






Torture Concern

YES





Profession

TV Video Store Owner


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13.

Name / Age

KHAING KAUNG SAN / Male, not known

He was forcibly returned from Thailand to Myanmar. He had been living in Thailand as an asylum-seeker for several years. He was granted official refugee status by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in 2000. He is reported to be a well known political dissident and human rights activist who worked closely with Arakanese organizations in providing political, socio-cultural and economic support to Arakanese people in Thailand.



Political Party / Role / Place

ALD vice chairman





Sentence / Legislation

10 years / UAA 17 (1)





Date of Arrest

5 December 2000





Prison Held

Thayet Prison Magway Division





Health Concerns






Torture Concern

YES





Profession








14.

Name / Age

KHIN KHIN LEH (MA) / f, dob 1966

She was arrested in connection with a demonstration to commemorate the assassination of General Aung San and to support the NLD, the lowering of food prices and revision of civil servants' salaries. Her three year old daughter was arrested at the same time, and was held with her in custody for up to five days.




Political Party / Role / Place

NLD / Bago Division





Sentence / Legislation

life / 1950 EPA 5 [j], UAA 17(1)





Date of Arrest

July 1999





Prison Held

Insein





Health Concerns

lung disease, rheumatoid arthritis, dysentery





Torture Concern






Profession

Teacher







15.

Name / Age

KHIN MAUNG SWE AKA YE KYAW / aged c. 63 dob 1942

He was arrested in 1990 under charges of support for the formation of a parallel government, and was released under an amnesty in 1992. He was rearrested and on the basis that authorities alleged he had told diplomats and foreign journalists "fabricated news" and had allegedly given them documents produced by expatriate groups, the terms of his amnesty were revoked, and he was given a further sentence of seven years' imprisonment. He has reportedly had chronic health problems in detention, and has been held for the majority of the time in Myingyan prison c. 400 miles from his family, a journey of at least 12 hours.




Political Party / Role / Place

NLD / MP-elect / Yangon (Sanchaung)





Sentence / Legislation

10 + seven years / 1950 EPA, 5 [e]





Date of Arrest

4 July 1994





Prison Held

Mandalay





Health Concerns

Haemorrhoids, gastric ulcer





Torture Concern






Profession

Geologist







16.

Name / Age

KHIN MAUNG WIN (U)

He was sentenced for having a film of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi visiting NLD members in 2003. He was also sentenced for having circulated two books about Burmese history by writers in exile to another NLD member. He, Dr. Win Aung and Soe Win Aung were tried immediately after arrest without time to prepare an adequate defence, and sentenced two days after arrest.




Political Party /

Role / Place

NLD member

Khin U, Sagaing Division


s


Sentence /

Legislation

10 years

1962 PPRA, 1985 1985 Video Act




Date of Arrest

6 July 2005





Prison Held

Shwebo





Health Concerns






Torture Concern






Profession

Not known







17.

Name / Age

KYAW KHIN (U) / dob May 1939

He was sentenced for giving a leaflet containing the list of awards conferred on Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to a girl and for a peace of paper allegedly found at a seat used by him and which contained the predictions by the BBC for the following year. Authorities reportedly penalized him for photocopying an NLD leaflet, which had been approved by the official censor. He was previously detained between 1996 and January 2005. Authorities had sentenced him to 10 year’ imprisonment, and alleged that he had been contacted to obtain "recorded videotapes with antigovernment messages broadcast by foreign television stations" to agitate civil unrest.




Political Party / Role / Place

NLD / (MP) of No.1, Constituency of Taunggyi Township, Shan State





Sentence / Legislation

14 years / 1950 EPA 5(J), 1962 PPRA 17





Date of Arrest

25 February 2005





Prison Held

Taunglaylone Prison





Health Concerns

Heart disease





Torture Concern






Profession

Trade Corporation Officer in a jade mine








Name / Age

KYAW MIN (U)/ Male, c.50 years old

U Kyaw Min is believed to have been arrested on account of his political activities. He was held incommunicado, and his wife, two daughters and a son were arrested in May 2005. His family was sentenced to 17 years imprisonment on the basis that the authorities disputed their right to nationality. They are Rohingyas, Muslims from Western Myanmar. Many Rohingyas are discriminatorily denied nationality in Myanmar.




Political Party / Role / Place

National Democratic Party for Human Rights MP elect Buthidaung, Rakhine State, CRPP members





Sentence / Legislation

43 years / 1950 EPA, section 5 [j], citizenship law section 18





Date of Arrest

March 2005





Prison Held

Insein Prison





Health Concerns

Yes





Torture Concern






Profession

headmaster







18.

Name / Age

KYAW MYO MIN / Male, not known

He was arrested with his wife, Kyi Kyi Win, for allegedly contacting NLD members in Thailand and for allegedly distributing political literature, videotapes and stickers.




Political Party / Role / Place

NLD / Bilin township Mon State





Sentence / Legislation

Seven or 15 years / 1950 EPA, section 5 [j], 17 (1), 13 (1)





Date of Arrest

May 2000





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Prison Held

Insein Prison


Health Concerns



Torture Concern






Profession







19.

Name / Age

KYAW SAN (U) / 73 years old, dob 13 June 1932

U Kyaw San was penalized for having goods at his house without the correct import documentation. The goods reportedly did not belong to him, He staged a month long hunger strike in protest at his arrest. He had been released from prison on 19 November 2004, where he had been held since September 1998. He had been sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment in 1992, reportedly for distributing pamphlets, and was released in 1995. When the NLD called for the convening of parliament, authorities rearrested him and made him serve the remainder of his previous prison sentence, from which he had been released, reportedly under the condition that he would have to serve the remainder of his sentence should he reoffend by engaging in politics.




Political Party / Role / Place

NLD MP-elect Tantse Township, Sagaing Division chairman





Sentence / Legislation

7 years’ imprisonment, under import and export legislation, MPC 51,53





Date of Arrest

17 March 2005





Prison Held

Insein





Health Concerns

Hypertension





Torture Concern






Profession

Former military colonel







20.

Name / Age

KYI KYI MIN (MA) AKA MA HTAY HTAY NGWE YEE / female, not known

Authorities alleged she and her husband Kyaw Myo Min brought stickers and other materials from opposition groups in exile during 1999 into Myanmar urging people to support the convening of parliament and in support of demonstrations against one party rule.




Political Party / Role / Place

NLD / Bilin township Mon State





Sentence / Legislation

Seven or 15 years / 1950 EPA, 5 [j], UAA 17(1)





Date of Arrest

May 2000





Prison Held

Insein Prison





Health Concerns






Torture Concern






Profession














21.

Name / Age

LWIN AUNG (KO) / M

He was arrested in connection with student plans to convene a meeting to discuss current national and international political affairs.




Political Party / Role / Place






Sentence / Legislation

7 years' imprisonment / 1950 EPA, 5 [j]





Date of Arrest

9 August 1996





Prison Held

Insein Prison





Health Concerns






brdrw15



Torture Concern



Profession

Student




22.

Name / Age

MAY WIN MYINT (DAW) / f, 55 yrs. old dob 08/03/1950

Daw May Win Myint was among a group arrested after an attempt by the NLD to hold a meeting with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the NLD Youth in Mayangone township, which authorities characterized as "anti-government activities with a mob." She is reported to have been deprived of drinking water and to have been mistreated during interrogation. She is being detained under an administrative detention law beyond the expiry of her sentence.




Political Party / Role / Place

NLD / MP-elect / Mayagone 2 Yangon Division





Sentence / Legislation

6 years imprisonment / 1950 EPA, 5[j], SPL 10 [a]





Date of Arrest

28 October 1997





Prison Held

Insein Prison Yangon





Health Concerns

Heart disease, high blood pressure and arthritis, stiff shoulder





Torture Concern

YES





Profession

Medical Doctor







23.

Name / Age

MYAT SAN

Myat San was sentenced for his participation in demonstrations to celebrate Aung San Suu Kyi receiving the Nobel peace prize. He is being held beyond the end of his sentence under section 10 a of the 1950 State Protection Law. He is being held at least 170 miles from his home, a journey of more than eight hours by road.




Political Party / Role / Place

NLD / Pabedan township Yangon Division





Sentence / Legislation

15 or 20 years; commuted to 10 years 1.1.93 / 1950 EPA 5 [j], SPL 10 [a]





Date of Arrest

11 December 1991





Prison Held

Taungoo Prison





Health Concerns

gastric ulcer, tuberculosis





Torture Concern






Profession

Student







24.

Name / Age

MYO MIN ZAW ALIAS MOE HEIN AUNG / Male, dob 1977

Myo Min Zaw was arrested for his role in student demonstrations calling for improvements to education in the country, and support for NLD calls to convene parliament. He was reportedly tortured in interrogation. He was transferred to Mandalay from Pathein Prison in September 2003 after taking part in a hunger strike calling for the release of political prisoners, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, implementation of the results of the general election and improvements to living standards for political prisoners. (photograph from Myanmar TV broadcast of SPDC press conference on recent arrests, October 1998)




Political Party / Role / Place

SYUF, ABFSU / Bahan Yangon





Sentence / Legislation

52 years / 1950 EPA 5 [j], PPRA 17/20





Date of Arrest

14 September 1998





Prison Held

Mandalay Prison





Health Concerns






Torture Concern

YES





Profession

Student







25.

Name / Age

NAING NAING (U) (SAW) / aged 66 dob 1942

U Naing Naing was arrested for his alleged involvement in the preparation of a statement calling for the release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and for the lifting of restrictions on the National League for Democracy.



Previous Imprisonment

After authorities refused to transfer power to the NLD, a group of Members of Parliament, allegedly including U Naing Naing, met to discuss the formation of a parallel government until the time that power was transferred. As a result he was imprisoned between 1990 and 1999. Authorities forced him on two occasions to sleep in military dog cells, and deprived him of food and water for extended periods. On the first occasion, he was among prisoners who were being interrogated about how information on the ill-treatment of prisoners had been gathered within the prison. On the second occasion, he was being punished for making a memorial for a political prisoner who had died in custody and who had also been held in a prison dog cell at the same time as U Naing Naing.




Political Party / Role / Place

NLD / MP-elect / Pazundaung Yangon





Sentence / Legislation

21 years / 1950 EPA, 5 [j], PPRA 17/20





Date of Arrest

14/09/00





Prison Held

Insein Prison





Health Concerns

hernia and heart disease





Torture Concern

YES





Profession

Former Govt Trade Manager







26.

Name / Age

OHN THAN (U) / Male, 58 years old

He was reportedly arrested for staging a peaceful one man protest outside United Nations offices in Yangon, calling for the convening of parliament under UN supervision, and for an investigation into the attack on NLD members at Depayin on 30 May 2003. He was reportedly sentenced for inciting unrest. This is reportedly his third period of imprisonment for political reasons.




Political Party / Role / Place

Dagon Yangon





Sentence / Legislation

two years / 515 b, MPC 505B





Date of Arrest

September 2004





Prison Held

Insein Prison





Health Concerns






Torture Concern






Profession

Forestry Department Employee





27.

Name / Age

SAN YA / Male, not known

He is reported to have been sentenced in September 2004 with three NLD members for allegedly receiving foreign satellite stations without official permission for satellite use.




Political Party / Role / Place

NLD Mon State





Sentence / Legislation

Seven years' imprisonment / 1950 EPA, 5[j]; UAA 17 (1)





Date of Arrest

July 2004





Prison Held

Insein Prison





Health Concerns






Torture Concern






Profession








28.

Name / Age

SAW HLAING (U) / 49 years old, dob 8 February 1956

He was sentenced for having "unlicensed" computers and was reportedly denied access to legal counsel. He has been repeatedly arrested for political reasons, including in 1974; 1990; 1998 and 2003.




Political Party / Role / Place

NLD MP-elect, Indaw Township / Sagaing Division





Sentence / Legislation

12 years, PPRA 16,17/20





0 Date of Arrest

30 March 2005





Prison Held

Katha





Health Concerns

Chronic backache, arthritis





Torture Concern






Profession

Lawyer







29.

Name / Age

SHWE OHN (U) / 82 years old

He was placed under house arrest for taking part in a Shan National Day meeting in Taunggyi on 7 February 2005. It was reported that participants discussed the future of the Shan State and the role of the ceasefire groups at the National Convention. He was previously arrested in December 1992 and sentenced to one year imprisonment for writing and distributing an essay on the form the new constitution should take.




Political Party / Role / Place

Democratic League for the National Races of the Shan State (abolished) / Shan veteran politician





Sentence / Legislation

Reportedly one year of house arrest / 1975 SPL 10 (B)





Date of Arrest

8 February 2005





Prison Held

House arrest





Health Concerns






Torture Concern






Profession

Lawyer and writer







30.

Name / Age

SOE HAN / Male, c. 50

He was sentenced in connection with the issuing of an NLD statement calling for the lifting of restrictions against party members, including Aung San Suu Kyi, who was under house arrest at the time. He is a former chief court advocate. He served part of a three month sentence handed down in June 2000. He was reportedly widowed in 2000 and is in a poor state of health. He was reportedly penalized for taking part in a hunger strike in Insein Prison in May 2005, and is believed to have been transferred to Thayet Prison. He reportedly needs treatment for eye disease.




Political Party / Role / Place

NLD DOC member, legal advisory chair / Yangon





Sentence / Legislation

21 years / 1950 EPA, 5 [j], PPRA 17/20





Date of Arrest

September 2000





Prison Held

Mawlamyine Prison





Health Concerns

eye problems





Torture Concern






Profession

Lawyer







31.

Name / Age

SOE MYINT (U) AKA SAYA SOE / Male, not known

He was arrested in 1992 on account of his former affiliations with the Communist Party of Burma, and reportedly because he composed a song commemorating the election victory of the National League for Democracy. He was given a second sentence for his participation in a group in prison who coordinated the production of a magazine, for which he reportedly wrote some songs and short stories. A total of 24 prisoners were given sentences at the beginning of 1996 in connection with their circulation of news within the prison, their preparation of a magazine, and their attempts to report on human rights violations in the prison. While authorities investigated him and others were held in cells designed for military dogs, made to sleep on concrete floors without bedding during winter months, and deprived of food and water. He was held in a dog cell between November 1995 and January 1996. They were also reportedly denied legal representation at their trial, at which a number reported that they had been tortured. This is his third period of imprisonment for political reasons.




Political Party / Role / Place

Alleged CPB / Hlaing township Yangon





Sentence / Legislation

22 years (10 + 7 + 5) / 1950 EPA, 5 [j], 5 [e], UAA 17/1,





Date of Arrest

1992





Prison Held

Tharawaddy Prison





Health Concerns

n rheumatoid arthritis





Torture Concern

YES






32.

Name / Age

SOE WIN AUNG (U)

He was reportedly sentenced for having a film of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi visiting NLD members in 2003. He, Dr. Khin Maung Win and Soe Win Aung were tried immediately after arrest, without time to prepare an adequate defence.




Political Party /

Role / Place

NLD member, Khin U Sagaing Division





Sentence /

Legislation

3 years, 1985 Video Act





Date of Arrest

6 July 2005





Prison Held






Health Concerns






Torture Concern






Profession

Local school teacher







33.

Name / Age

SU SU NWE (Ma), (f)

Su Su Nwe successfully sued her village administration for illegally requiring her and others to take part in unpaid forced labour. Following the prosecution she was threatened by village authorities. Village authorities alleged that she had sworn at them and prosecuted her for defamation. Persons who supported her prosecution of the authorities were reportedly also threatened by the local authorities. She suffers from heart disease and reportedly has been denied medication since her imprisonment.






Political Party /

Role / Place

NLD, Kawmoo, Yangon





Sentence /

Legislation

18 months’ imprisonment; MPC 506, 294 (b)





Date of Arrest

13 October 2005





Prison Held

Insein Prison





Health Concerns

Yes





Torture Concern








34.

Name / Age

THAN HLAING / Male, not known

He was arrested after he protested against the confiscation of his land used for rice paddy by the army and the Union Solidarity and Development Association, by leading others whose land had been taken to local authorities to ask for its return. He was reportedly denied access to lawyers at his trial.




Political Party / Role / Place

NLD





Sentence / Legislation

Seven years' imprisonment / 1950 EPA, 5 [j]





Date of Arrest

2000





Prison Held

Taungoo Prison





Health Concerns






Torture Concern






Profession

Farmer







35.

5



Name / Age

THAN HTAY (U), dob 1948

He was arrested in August 2004, and was reportedly sentenced with his son, Than Htun Oo, his nephew and one other for alleged infringements under import and export legislation, relating to his son's electronic shop. It is believed that he was sentenced in connection with his political activism, and his refusal to cease political activities. He had reportedly been under pressure from local SPDC authorities to resign from his position of elected MP and was also reportedly active in an NLD signature gathering campaign for the release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. He was arrested in September 1998 and detained by authorities after refusing to report twice daily to them and not to travel. He was also held in incommunicado detention in 1996 to prevent him from attending an NLD meeting.

Political Party / Role / Place

NLD MP elect, Lashio Shan State


Sentence / Legislation

Three years





Date of Arrest

August 2004





Prison Held

Kalay Prison





Health Concerns

Yes, kidney problems when previously detained





Torture Concern






Profession

Lawyer







36.

Name / Age

THAN MIN ALIAS TIN TUN AUNG / dob c. 1958

Than Min was sentenced for sending allegedly "threatening" letters written by NLD MP-elect Dr. Aung Khin Sint and information about the NLD to National Convention delegates, characterized by authorities as "instigative letters for disrupting the National Convention".




Political Party / Role / Place

NLD EC member / Mingala Thaungnyunt Yangon





Sentence / Legislation

20 years / UAA 17 (1), 1950 EPA, 17(1), 1962 PPRA 17/20





Date of Arrest

03/08/93





Prison Held

Taungoo Prison





Health Concerns






Torture Concern






Profession

Assistant to MP-elect







37.

Name / Age

THAN NYEIN (DR.) / 68 years old dob 1937

He was arrested for attempting to arrange a meeting of local NLD activists with the party's General Secretary, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. He is being held beyond the expiry of his sentence under an administrative detention law that allows authorities to hold prisoners without charge or trial. He went on hunger strike in October 2004 to protest this, and was reportedly transferred as a punishment to Tharawaddy Prison before being returned to Insein hospital. He has been repeatedly hospitalised during his imprisonment. He was moved for the fourth time since his sentence expired, in January 2005, to Pyay Prison.




Political Party / Role / Place

NLD MP-elect / MP-elect / Kyauktan 1 Yangon





Sentence / Legislation

Seven years / SPL, 10 (a) 1950 EPA, 5 [j]





Date of Arrest

28/10/97





Prison Held

Pyay prison





Health Concerns

chronic liver cirrhosis, heart disease, hypertension, renal stones and bleeding, swollen abdomen





Torture Concern






Profession

Medical Doctor







38.

Name / Age

THAN THAN HTAY (DAW) / female, not known

She is reported to have been sentenced in September 2004 with three other NLD members for allegedly receiving foreign satellite stations without official permission for satellite use, and under suspicion of communicating news to opposition groups in exile. She and others were reportedly not allowed to testify in court.




Political Party / Role / Place

NLD Women's Wing, DOC member / Magway Division Myothit 2





Sentence / Legislation

Seven years' imprisonment / 1950 EPA 5j, 13 (1)





dfl3



Date of Arrest

8 June 2004


Prison Held



Health Concerns






Torture Concern






Profession








39.

Name / Age

THAN THAN HTAY (MA) / f dob 1967

She was reportedly arrested for taking part in campaigns on education initiated by student groups in exile. She was previously imprisoned on account of her activities as a member of the ABFSU.




Political Party / Role / Place

Yangon





Sentence / Legislation

17 years / 1950 EPA, 5 [j], UAA 17 (1)





Date of Arrest

2000





Prison Held

Insein Prison





Health Concerns

arthritis





Torture Concern






Profession








40.

Name / Age

THAUNG TUN, AKA NYEIN THIT / Male, not known

He is reported to have been sentenced to eight years imprisonment for allegedly making unauthorised video tapes, including of forced labour, and sending them outside the country. He is a well-known poet, and has also worked for the MV media group.




Political Party / Role / Place

NLD / Mandalay





Sentence / Legislation

Eight years / 17 (1), 13 (1) Immigration Act





Date of Arrest

October 1999





Prison Held

Mawlamyine Prison





Health Concerns

gastric ulcer





Torture Concern






Profession

Poet/ private tutor







41.

Name / Age

THEIN NAING OO(U) /

He was sentenced in September 2003 for allegedly distributing information about the attack on NLD members at Depayin on 30 May 2003.




Political Party / Role / Place

NLD Dallah Yangon, Youth





Sentence / Legislation

Seven years / 1950 EPA 5 [j]





Date of Arrest

June 2003





Prison Held

Insein Prison





Health Concerns

YES





Torture Concern






Profession



trowd





42.

Name / Age

THET NAUNG SOE / Male, not known

Thet Naung Soe, a final year law student, was arrested for staging a peaceful demonstration outside City Hall in Yangon, with fellow law student Khin Maung Win. He had reportedly handed out leaflets the previous day, calling on authorities to initiate political dialogue with the NLD.

Political Party / Role / Place

Monywa, Sagaing





Sentence / Legislation

14 years / 1950 EPA, 5 [j]





Date of Arrest

17 August 2002





Prison Held

Insein Prison





Health Concerns

Mental illness





Torture Concern






Profession

Student







43.

Name / Age

THET WEI / Male, not known

He was sentenced in connection with U Ohn Than’s peaceful demonstration outside UNDP offices in Yangon.




Political Party / Role / Place

NLD TOC chairman / Sanchaung Yangon





Sentence / Legislation

Two years





Date of Arrest

September 2004





Prison Held

Insein Prison





Health Concerns

YES





Torture Concern






Profession








44.

Name / Age

THET WIN AUNG Male, dob c. 1972

Thet Win Aung was arrested in connection with peaceful student demonstrations which protested against the poor quality of education and the human rights situation in Myanmar. This is the second time he has been detained -- he was reportedly held in prison for 9 months in 1991, during which period he is reported to have been tortured. He is being held around 400 miles from his home, a journey of around 12 hours.




Political Party / Role / Place

ABFSU / Member / Tamway Township, Yangon





Sentence / Legislation

59 years / 1950 EPA 5[j] UAA 17 (1)





Date of Arrest

4 October 1998





Prison Held

Mandalay Prison





Health Concerns

Mental illness, malaria and other ailments





Torture Concern

YES





Profession

Student







45.

Name / Age

TIN MYINT (U) / Male, not known

He was arrested with three other NLD members, and reportedly sentenced for owning satellite television equipment without official permission. He and others were reportedly not allowed to present testimony during the trial.




Political Party / Role / Place

NLD TOC secretary / Thingangyun Yangon





Sentence / Legislation

Seven years' imprisonment / 1950 EPA 5 [j], 13 (1)





Date of Arrest

8 June 2004





Prison Held

Insein Prison





Health Concerns






Torture Concern






Profession








46.

Name / Age

TIN OO (U) / aged 78 dob 1927

He was detained by authorities after he and other NLD officials and members were violently attacked in what is believed to have been a state orchestrated operation. He was held in Kalay Prison and transferred into house arrest in February 2004. He was held in Insein Prison between 1990 and 1995 on account of his peaceful political activities. He has also been made to remain under effective house arrest during successive crackdowns on NLD political activities, including in September 2000, after he and other senior officials of the NLD had been prevented from leaving the capital on party business. His detention was increased by a further year on 13 February 2005.




Political Party / Role / Place

NLD Vice Chairman





Sentence / Legislation

1975 SPL





Date of Arrest

30 May 2003





Prison Held

house arrest





Health Concerns

Deep vein thrombosis





Torture Concern






Profession

Former Chief Of Staff Of Armed Forces And Former Minister Of Defence







47.

Name / Age

TUN LIN KYAW, male aged 28 years old

He was arrested for staging a peaceful one-man demonstration outside City Hall in Yangon on 14 December 2004. He reportedly protested the continued detention of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and called for her release. He was reportedly sentenced in February 2005.




Political Party / Role / Place

NLD Youth member, Sanchaung Yangon





Sentence / Legislation

Seven years, 1950 EPA, 5 [j]





Date of Arrest

December 2004





Prison Held

Insein Prison





Health Concerns





Torture Concern






Profession

Former bodyguard for Daw Aung San Suu Kyi







48.

Name / Age

DR WIN AUNG

He was sentenced for having a film of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi visiting NLD members in 2003. He was also sentenced for having lent two books about Burmese history by writers in exile to other NLD members. He, Khin Maung Win and Soe Win Aung were immediately put on trial, without time to prepare an adequate defence, and sentenced two days after their arrest. Dr. Win Aung was injured during an attack on NLD members by a group supported by the SPDC on 30 May 2003, and was held without charge or trial




Political Party /

Role / Place

NLD, TOC chairman Khin-U, Sagaing Division





Sentence /

Legislation

Ten years, 1962 PPRA, 1985 Video Act





Date of Arrest

6 July 2005





Prison Held

Shwebo Prison


t

Health Concerns




Torture Concern






Profession

Medical doctor







49.

Name / Age

WIN HTEIN / aged c. 55 dob 1950

Win Htein was sentenced for allegedly organizing farmers and NLD members to collect agricultural statistics, including video footage of dry rice-fields and for instructing a young man to be interviewed about the torture of political prisoners in Myanmar's jails. He is a senior advisor to Aung San Suu Kyi. This is the second time since 1989 that Win Htein has been detained for his peaceful political activities. Win Htein was previously detained as a prisoner of conscience between 1989 and 1995. He is being held at least 12 hours journey by public transport from his home.




Political Party / Role / Place

NLD / Insein Yangon





Sentence / Legislation

7 + 7 years / 1950 EPA, 5 [j]





Date of Arrest

22 May 1996





Prison Held

Myingyan Prison





Health Concerns

acute spondylitis, high blood pressure and migraines





Torture Concern

YES





Profession

Business Consultant And Retired Army Officer







50.

Name / Age

WIN TIN AKA U WIN TIN / aged 74 dob 1930

He is serving a 20 year prison sentence. He has received three separate sentences while imprisoned-- firstly for harbouring a girl who had received an illegal abortion, secondly, while still imprisoned for "giving seditious talks, organizing subversive movements within the NLD and writing and publishing pamphlets to incite treason against the state." His third prison sentence of 7 years was given for allegedly writing political analyses: authorities stated he "secretly published anti-government propaganda to create riots in jail". A total of 24 prisoners were given sentences at the beginning of 1996 in connection with their circulation of news within the prison, their preparation of a magazine, and their attempts to report on human rights violations in the prison. While authorities investigated the incident many, including U Win Tin, were held in cells designed for military dogs, made to sleep on concrete floors without bedding during winter months, and deprived of food and water. They were also reportedly denied legal representation at their trial, at which a number reported that they had been tortured. Two persons sentenced at this time subsequently died in custody, one of whom was in his 30s. He has chronic health problems, including spondylitis.




Political Party / Role / Place

NPF, NLD





Sentence / Legislation

20 years / Section 216 of the Burmese Penal Code, 1950 EPA 5 [j],[e]





Date of Arrest

4 July 1989





Prison Held

Insein Prison





Health Concerns

spondylitis, heart disease, haemorrhoids





Torture Concern






Profession

Journalist; Editor





51.

Name / Age

YI YI WIN (MA) / f

She is reported to have been sentenced in September 2004 with three NLD members for allegedly receiving foreign satellite stations without official permission for satellite use. She and others were reportedly not allowed to testify in court.




Political Party / Role / Place

NLD member / Theinyazat Mon state





Sentence / Legislation

Seven years' imprisonment / 1950 EPA, 5[j], 17 (1),





Date of Arrest

July 2004





Prison Held

Insein Prison





Health Concerns






Torture Concern



rs

Profession






52.

Name / Age

ZAW MYINT MAUNG (DR) / aged 54 dob 11 December 1951

He was imprisoned for his alleged participation in discussions about the formation of a parallel government in Mandalay, and was sentenced at a military tribunal with no legal representation. He is believed to have been deprived of food and sleep during interrogation. He was one of a total of 24 prisoners given further prison sentences at the beginning of 1996 in connection with their circulation of news within the prison, their preparation of a magazine, and their attempts to report on human rights violations in the prison. He was alleged to have written two poems and to have signed a petition for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi. While authorities investigated he and others were held in cells designed for military dogs, made to sleep on concrete floors without bedding during winter months, and deprived of food and water. He was held in a dog cell between November 1995 and January 1996. The group were also reportedly denied legal representation at their trial, at which a number reported that they had been tortured. He is being held more than 400 miles from his home.




Political Party / Role / Place

NLD / MP-elect / Amarapura 1 Mandalay Division





Sentence / Legislation

20 years, commuted to 10 + 7 years (17 yrs) / 1950 EPA, 5 [e], BPC,122/1, PPRA 17/20





Date of Arrest

November 1990





Prison Held

Myitkyina Prison





Health Concerns

Hepatitis





Torture Concern

YES





Profession

Doctor








POSSIBLE PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE


53.

Name / Age

ANNUL (KO) AKA WIN TIN

He was arrested in connection with demonstrations in support of the NLD in Bago Division. Individuals arrested at the time in Bago were reportedly subjected to severe torture.




Political Party / Role / Place

Bago





Sentence / Legislation

24 or 25 years with hard labour / 1950 EPA. 5 [j], UAA 17(1) PPRA 17/20





Date of Arrest

19 July 1999





Prison Held

Tharawaddy Prison





Health Concerns

Tuberculosis





Torture Concern






Profession

Trader







54.

Name / Age

AUNG KO KO

He is believed to have been arrested in connection with NLD calls to convene parliament in September 1998.




Political Party / Role / Place

Sanchaung township Yangon Division





Sentence / Legislation

14 years imprisonment / 1950 EPA, 5 [j]





Date of Arrest

September 1998





Prison Held

Insein Prison





Health Concerns






Torture Concern






Profession

Student







55.

talt



Name / Age

AUNG NAING THU / Male, not known

He was reportedly sentenced for alleged contact with opposition political groups in exile. His mother, Daw Hnin Pa Pa, was also sentenced in the same case.

Political Party / Role / Place

NLD Youth / Mandalay


Sentence / Legislation

12 years' imprisonment / not known





Date of Arrest

December 2003





Prison Held

Mandalay Prison





Health Concerns






Torture Concern






Profession

University Student







56.

Name / Age

AUNG SOE MIN / Male, not known

He was arrested in connection with student protests for the formation of people's parliament in September 1998. In 2003 he reportedly went on hunger strike with two other political prisoners, as they were being denied reading and writing materials. He is being held at least 12 hours by train from his home.



(photograph from Myanmar TV broadcast of SPDC press conference on recent arrests, October 1998)




Political Party / Role / Place

North Okkalappa Yangon





Sentence / Legislation

14 or 21 years / 1950 EPA, 5 [j]





Date of Arrest

02/09/98





Prison Held

Insein Prison





Health Concerns






Torture Concern






Profession

Student







57.

Name / Age

AUNG ZAW OO / Male, not known

He was reportedly arrested in connection with demonstrations planned by opposition groups in exile and for possessing written materials that had not been approved by the official censor. He was transferred from Pathein to Tharawaddy for participating in a hunger strike in 2003 calling for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi.




Political Party / Role / Place

ABFSU / Myingyan Mandalay Division





Sentence / Legislation

14 years' imprisonment / 1950 EPA, 5j, PPRA, 17/20





Date of Arrest

1999





Prison Held

Tharawaddy Prison





Health Concerns






Torture Concern






Profession

Private Tuition Teacher







58.

Name / Age

AUNG AUNG (KO) / Not known

He was reportedly sentenced with 10 others for allegedly passing news about the situation in the country to opposition political groups in exile.




Political Party / Role / Place

NLD Youth / Mandalay





Sentence / Legislation

Seven years' imprisonment





Date of Arrest

December 2003


Prison Held




Health Concerns






Torture Concern






Profession

Rice And Gold Rings Merchant