Myanmar: Human rights after seven years of military rule
The release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on 10 July 1995 was a positive and welcome step taken by Myanmar's military government. However, the human rights situation there remains critical. There are thousands of political prisoners, among them at least 50 prisoners of conscience. The military authorities routinely question and detain civilians whom they suspect of political opposition activities. Civilians in the border regions, where large populations of ethnic minorities live, are also subject to arbitrary arrest. The army uses ethnic minorities for forced portering and labour duties, holding them in unhealthy conditions and often subjecting them to ill-treatment. Some improvements in the human rights situtation have occurred since April 1992 but more profound changes are needed. AI recommends changes including the release of prisoners of conscience, an end to intimidation of peaceful opposition members by Military Intelligence and the abolition of arbitrary detention for forced labour and portering.