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SAFFRON REVOLUTION > THE CRACKDOWN

The SPDC reacted to the peaceful protests by violently cracking down on demonstrators. The regime initially relied on plainclothes security officials and thugs from the pro-junta USDA and Swan Arr Shin to intimidate and attack protesters. The USDA reportedly paid between 2,000 and 2,500 kyat per day to those who participated in the crackdowns on protesters. Others reportedly received food in addition to cash.Irrawaddy (24 Aug 07) USDA Stirs Trouble for Peaceful Protesters As the demonstrations grew larger, the regime stepped up security in Burma’s main cities and prepared to quash the protests.

• The SPDC ordered a state of emergency authorizing regional and local authorities to control demonstrations, including an order to open fire on protesters if necessary.Irrawaddy (19 Sep 07) Burmese Junta Orders State Emergency, Authorizes Use of Weapons, Says Source

• On 25 September, the SPDC imposed a curfew from 9 pm to 5 am in Rangoon and banned any gathering of more than five people.Irrawaddy (26 Sep 07) Burmese troops fire on Rangoon protestors; unconfirmed reports say five monks, one woman dead It also declared the city and its environs a “restricted area.” Similar restrictions, to be in effect for 60 days, were imposed in Mandalay.AP (25 Sep 07) Myanmar bans gatherings, imposes curfew; AFP (26 Sep 07) Myanmar imposes curfew, declares Yangon 'restricted' area; Bangkok Post (26 Sep 07) Burma showdown: Rifles vs robes; Irrawaddy (26 Sep 07) Burmese troops fire on Rangoon protestors; unconfirmed reports say five monks, one woman dead

On 26 September the SPDC began a massive crackdown that involved “excessive force against civilians, including unnecessary and disproportionate lethal force.”Human Rights Council, 6th session, Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, 7 December 2007, UN Doc A/HRC/6/14

• SPDC Army troops and riot police clubbed and tear-gassed protesters, fired shots on protesting monks and demonstrators, and arrested hundreds of the monks who were at the heart of the demonstrations.New York Times (26 Sep 07) Police clash with monks in Myanmar; DPA (26 Sep 07) Burma army starts killing; Irrawaddy (26 Sep 07) Burmese troops fire on Rangoon protestors; unconfirmed reports say five monks, one woman dead; Reuters (26 Sep 07) Myanmar troops pen monks in monasteries Soldiers and police chased and beat protesters and carted others away in trucks.New York Times (28 Sep 07) With monks contained, Myanmar authorities attack civilians

• SPDC authorities raided at least 53 monasteries throughout Burma multiple times.AAPPB (06 Oct 07) Monasteries Raided Since September 26; DVB (03 Oct 07) Monks fear government raids on monasteries Officials beat, disrobed, and arrested monks and residents.AAPPB (06 Oct 07) Monasteries Raided Since September 26; IMNA (05 Oct 07) Monasteries in Rangoon ordered not to accommodate guests Officials cut phone lines, seized mobile telephones, computers, and other donations during raids.DVB (05 Oct 07) Monasteries again targeted in raids; MNA (10 Oct 07) Hundreds of monks flee Rangoon, arrive in Mon state SPDC authorities declared no-go zones around five key Buddhist monasteries in Rangoon.AP (28 Sep 07) Myanmar junta declares no-go zones at Buddhist monasteries seen as flashpoints of protests

Arrests and killings

• The SPDC arrested 3,000 to 4,000 people in September and October.Human Rights Council, 6th session, Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, 7 December 2007, UN Doc A/HRC/6/14

• Authorities detained several thousand monks during raids on monasteries.Human Rights Watch (07 Dec 07) Crackdown: Repression of the 2007 popular protests in Burma

• In October, SPDC security forces continued their house by house search for people who participated in anti-junta demonstrations. Relatives of suspects who could not be found were taken hostage as a form of pressure.AP (04 Oct 07) Myanmar media lashes out at foreigners; Human Rights Council, 6th session, Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, 7 December 2007, UN Doc A/HRC/6/14; DVB (21 Oct 07) Family of exiled 88 generation student arrested SPDC authorities hunted down those who provided water or food to the monks and arrested bystanders who applauded protesters.Reuters (04 Oct 07) Myanmar junta sets Suu Kyi talks conditions; Reuters (05 Oct 07) Myanmar junta talks offer unreal – opposition; BBC (08 Oct 07) Burmese junta appoints go-between; DVB (09 Oct 07) Detainees categorised according to protest involvement

• SPDC authorities arrested at least 274 NLD members.AAPP (14 Oct 07) Detailed list of detainees

• Between 18 September and 3 October, SPDC authorities arrested 18 elected MPs, including 16 from the NLD.AAPP (10 Oct 07) Detained list of Members of Parliament

• Authorities detained at least 25 members of the 88 Generation Students group between mid-August and November, including leaders Min Ko Naing, Ko Ko Gyi, Pyone Cho, Jimmy, and Htay Kywe.NLM (25 Aug 07) Some NLD members involved in acts of harming peace and stability of State; AAPP (31 Aug 07) More than 100 activists have been detained since peaceful protests in Burma began on August 19; Irrawaddy (10 Oct 07) Authorities Root Out Fugitive Student Leaders; DVB (10 Oct 07) 88 generation student leader arrested; Irrawaddy (13 Oct 07) Prominent student leaders arrested; Mizzima News (13 Oct 07) Student leader Htay Kywe arrested; DVB (10 Oct 07) 88 generation student leader arrested; Mizzima News (10 Oct 07) More arrests in Burma, detainee dies during interrogation; BBC (13 Oct 07) Key activists arrested in Burma; Irrawaddy (13 Oct 07) Prominent student leaders arrested; Mizzima News (13 Oct 07) Student leader Htay Kywe arrested; FT (14 Oct 07) Burma seizes top democracy activist; Hindu (14 Oct 07) Myanmar junta arrests more activists; Taipei Times (15 Oct 07) Seventy Myanmar forces raid house, seize activists; Sydney Morning Herald (14 Oct 07) Burma's military maintains hard line; Mizzima News (25 Oct 07) Junta arrest more activists

• SPDC charged 88 Generation Students group members Min Ko Naing Htay Kywe, and Mie Mie for violating the Printing and Publishing Act. If convicted, they would face up to seven years in prison.Reuters (29 Jan 08) Myanmar junta charges leading protesters; Irrawaddy (30 Jan 08) Junta Charges More Political Prisoners, Others Seriously ill

• SPDC authorities sentenced to prison at least 33 protesters and their supporters between 1 October and 25 January.DVB (23 Oct 07) NLD members face two years’ imprisonment; Narinjara News (15 Oct 07) Former Arakanese student leader jailed; AFP (17 Oct 07) Four activists sentenced in secret trials: Myanmar opposition; Reuters (17 Oct 07) Myanmar protest monk jailed for seven years; DVB (17 Oct 07) Arakan NLD members jailed; Narinjara News (17 Oct 07) Nearly One Dozen NLD Leaders Arrested in Arakan; Irrawaddy (18 Oct 07) Five NLD members, one monk sentenced to prison; Narinjara News (25 Oct 07) NLD Members Released by Burmese Authority in Arakan; Mizzima News (25 Oct 07) Junta arrest more activists; Mizzima News (24 Oct 07) Junta showcases release of protesters, activists; Narinjara News (25 Oct 07) NLD Members Released by Burmese Authority in Arakan; Mizzima News (13 Oct 07) Student leader Htay Kywe arrested; DVB (11 Oct 07) Man given two-year sentence for shouting religious slogan; Narinjara News (25 Oct 07) NLD Members Released by Burmese Authority in Arakan; Amnesty International (25 Jan 08) Myanmar: arrests increasing four months on

• In November and December authorities continued to arrest monks and activists, contradicting SPDC assurances to UN Special Advisor on Burma Ibrahim Gambari that arrests had ceased.Amnesty International (06 Dec 07) Release Myanmara’s peaceful protesters On 4 November, SPDC authorities arrested the leader of the All Burma Monks Alliance U Gambira.Mizzima News (13 Nov 07) Junta arrests prominent Abbot U Gambira; DVB (13 Nov 07) Monk leader U Gambira arrested

• Seven hundred protesters were still detained as of 25 January.Amnesty International (25 Jan 08) Myanmar: arrests increasing four months on

• The regime killed at least 31 people during the crackdown.Human Rights Council, 6th session, Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, 7 December 2007, UN Doc A/HRC/6/14

• At least 16 individuals died in custody, including nine monks and NLD member Win Shwe.Human Rights Council, 6th session, Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, 7 December 2007, UN Doc A/HRC/6/14

• During the nights of 27-30 September, a large number of bodies were burned at the Ye Way crematorium in Rangoon.Human Rights Council, 6th session, Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, 7 December 2007, UN Doc A/HRC/6/14 Residents nearby reported seeing military personnel burning 71 bodies of demonstrators on the night of 26 September.DPA (06 Oct 07) Burma releases detained monks but diplomats not hopeful; Sunday Times (07 Oct 07) Secret cremations hide Burma killings; BBC (08 Oct 07) Burmese junta appoints go-between

• More than 80 persons remained unaccounted for as of 25 January, and were likely the victims of enforced disappearance.Amnesty International (25 Jan 08) Myanmar: arrests increasing four months on

Detention conditions

• In Rangoon people were held in five places of detention, including large capacity informal detention centers regarded as ‘secret’ facilities. SPDC authorities used Government Technology Institute (GTI) in Insein Township, Police Center No 7 in Thanyin Township, Aung Tha Paye in Mayangone Township, Riot Police No 5 in Hmawbe Township, and Kyaikkasan Interrogation Center in Tamwe Township.Human Rights Council, 6th session, Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, 7 December 2007, UN Doc A/HRC/6/14

• Released detainees reported being kept in cramped conditions in small rooms, with some standing shoulder to shoulder, unable to lie down. Cells lacked ventilation or toilets. Prisoners also reported a lack of food and drinking water and being denied adequate medical attention by prisons’ staff.CNN (13 Oct 07) Myanmar captives ‘kept in squalor’; Irrawaddy (11 Oct 07) Monks in hell; AP (12 Oct 07) Burma’s junta of beating, killing detainees, Norway-based radio says; AP (12 Oct 07) Dissident group: Myanmar guards brutalized pro-democracy detainees; DVB (11 Oct 07) Detainees transferred due to prison overcrowding; Irrawaddy (11 Oct 07) Monks in hell

• Released prisoners reported being severely and repeatedly beaten, kicked, and verbally abused by prison authorities during interrogation sessions.AP (12 Oct 07) Burma’s junta of beating, killing detainees, Norway-based radio says; AP (12 Oct 07) Dissident group: Myanmar guards brutalized pro-democracy detainees; Irrawaddy (11 Oct 07) Monks in hell; Irrawaddy (11 Oct 07) 88 Generation Students, Other Detainees Tortured in Interrogation Centers Monks were disrobed and fed in the afternoon when religious tenets forbid them to eat.Human Rights Council, 6th session, Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, 7 December 2007, UN Doc A/HRC/6/14

 
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