World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Burma Govt Lies About Crackdown Death Toll - HRW


By Luis Ramirez
Bangkok

Human Rights Watch: Burmese Government Lies About Crackdown Death Toll

The U.S. group Human Rights Watch accuses Burma's military government of lying about the number of people killed when soldiers used guns and batons to disperse peaceful pro-democracy demonstrators in September.

Human Rights Watch says it has documented evidence that considerably more people were killed in the crackdown than Burma's ruling generals admit.

The specific numbers being given are still small. Last month, U.N. human rights envoy Paulo Sergio Pinheiro visited Burma and said official information showed at least 15 people had been killed. Human Rights Watch now says that at the very least, the number killed is 20.

However, Human Rights Watch, along with diplomats in Burma at the time of the crackdown and Pinheiro afterward, all say there is reason to believe the real death toll is much higher.

In a statement Friday, Human Rights Watch Asia director Brad Adams says the crackdown is far from over. He says harsh repression continues and the Burmese government is still "lying about the extent of the deaths and detentions."

Burma's rulers say only 80 people remain in prison following the September crackdown, but diplomats and the families of those detained again say the figure is far higher.

The U.S. Chargé d'Affaires in Burma, Shari Villarosa, told reporters in Bangkok last week that she is still getting reports of people being picked up on an almost-daily basis. The U.S. diplomat says the continuing arrests indicate the military government is not interested in true reconciliation.

"It seems to me that if you wanted a real dialogue, instead of arresting people you would be releasing them and talking to them," said Villarosa. "I do know that the people they arrested were peaceful, nonviolent people who are very patriotic, believe in their country, and want a better country, and they have some ideas, and they want to talk about them."

Burma's national police chief on Monday said 2,927 people, including 596 Buddhist monks, were arrested during and after the protests. He said 80 people, including 21 monks, were still in prison.

In her remarks last week, however, Villarosa said the streets of Rangoon and its monasteries remain devoid of monks, and the government has yet to account for their absence. Witnesses in the country say many are in hiding, but a large number remain in prison.

ENDS

More: Latest World News | Top World News | World Digest | Archives

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news