On-going Political Repression Mars Pre-Election Period in Burma

Media Release
On-going Political Repression Mars Pre-Election Period in Burma

Date: 8 November 2010

The Network for Human Rights Documentation – Burma (ND-Burma) today released its report, “Intimidation, imprisonment and repression: the road to military victory in the 2010 Elections” documenting human rights violations in Burma from January to October 2010.

“Ongoing political repression and other rights violations ahead of the 7 November elections in Burma, rule out the possibility of a free, fair, and credible vote,” ND Burma said today.

Political opposition candidates, the news media and voters need to feel safe to debate ideas and to express themselves and vote freely for the leaders of their choice. In Burma, ongoing and systematic violations prevent people from realising their basic civil and political rights.

“The lack of accountability for human rights violations by members of the police and military is a troubling backdrop to the elections”, said Tate Naing, ND-Burma Advisory Board member.

ND-Burma documented unlawful detention, torture, and extrajudicial killings committed by the regime, or with their acquiescence. Forced labour and land confiscation also marred the reporting period.

The electoral process is designed to be discriminatory, impartial and unfair, ensuring a military victory.

“Whatever the results, the most salient feature of the 2010 elections are not the months but the years of repression preceding it. The people of Burma have been robbed of their humanity, denied their fundamental freedoms, and a pervasive culture of fear prevails” said Han Gyi, Coordinator (ND-Burma).

During this year, ND-Burma documented over 875 human rights violations, of which, 247 were directly related to the elections as following.

Election Related Human Rights Violations (HRVs)

Physical Violence (2 case)
Arbitrary arrest and detention (15 cases)
Forced labor (10 cases)
Confiscation/ destruction of property (1 cases)
Threats of violence, intimidation, or other forms of coercion (86 cases)
Prevented from participating or standing for an election (45 case)
Prevented from making an informed decision (34 cases)
Denial of the right to freedom of expression, assembly, and association (31 cases)
Denial of the right to freedom of movement (23 cases)

Human Rights Violations in Burma from January to October 2010

Arbitrary/ illegal arrest/ detention (71 cases)
Confiscation/ destruction of property (93 cases)
Disappearances (9 cases)
Forced labor (96 cases)
Forced marriage (8 cases)
Forced Prostitution (7 cases)
Forced Relocation (18 cases)
Human Trafficking (15 cases)
Killings (24 cases)
Obstruction of freedom of expression/ Assembly (111 cases)
Obstruction of freedom of movement (32 cases)
Other sexual violence (67cases)
Rape (9 cases)
Use of Child Soldiers (26 cases)
Torture, Inhumane or degrading treatment (71 cases)
Arbitrary Taxation/ Extortion (287 cases)

ND-Burma fieldworkers put themselves at great risk to document human rights abuses. As, the monitoring can not take place openly, the list of violations is in no way exhaustive but reflective of the human rights situation in Burma. ND- Burma’s report includes cases from all over the country and covers 16 categories of human rights violations.

The full report, “Intimidation, imprisonment and repression: the road to military victory in the 2010 Elections”, will be available at the ND Burma website http://www.nd-burma.org .

For further information, please contact –

Management Board – Cheery Zahau hre.cheery@gmail.com (+66(0)849213423)
Management Board – Aue Mon auemon@gmail.com (+66(0)86 167 9741)
Coordinator – Han Gyi mghanpai@gmail.com (+66 (0)81 961 5992)

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