UPDATE (Burma): Despite over 100 arrests, protests continue; still no action by UN


Urgent Appeal Case: UP-114-2007
ISSUES: Arbitrary arrest & detention, Freedom of expression, Judicial system, Poverty & adequate standard of living, Rule of law,

Dear friends,

Despite great personal risks, people in Burma are continuing to come on to the streets in protest two weeks after the military regime there suddenly multiplied the cost of fuels without prior warning. Since the appeal issued by the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) on August 26 (UA-260-2007), daily demonstrations have spread across the country. The latest have also involved Buddhist monks, which is a signal that the demonstrations could further escalate. Meanwhile, there are now at least 100 persons in illegal custody and yet still the United Nations has done nothing to respond to the situation.

We urgently need your timely special attention and action on events in Burma. Please show your solidarity now: read further.

As the AHRC already reported in its previous appeal and in other releases (AS-197-2007; AHRC-OL-028-2007; AS-201-2007; AS-206-2007), since 19 August 2007 there have been almost daily demonstrations against the sudden multiplication of costs of fuels by the government on August 15, which is bound to cause enormous hardship to the country’s already impoverished population.

In our first appeal on these dramatic events, we gave details of some of the 65 persons taken into illegal custody, many by unidentified men on the streets of Rangoon and other towns. In this update we include as an annex a list of 100 persons arrested between August 21 and 25 that was issued by the Political Defiance Committee (PDC), based in Thailand. Although some persons on the list are known to have been released since, many have not, and many others have since been arrested. Thus, we are forwarding the list without amendments at this stage. The total number of persons in detention at time of writing is not known.

Other developments are as follows.


On August 28 over 150 members of the Buddhist clergy led a protest through Sittwe, the capital of Arakan Division, on the western coastline of Burma bordering with Bangladesh. The group, which included monks and novices and was spontaneously joined by up to 100 members of the public as it marched through town shouting demands that the price of fuel be dropped back to its previous level and all persons detained since the protests started be released, while being closely monitored by police.


Around 50 persons starting marching through the centre of Pegu town, north of Rangoon around 9am on the morning of August 28, from the Rangoon-Pegu road, moving eastwards to the historic Shwemawdaw Pagoda and back to the highway. Along the way they were greeted by onlookers with applause and gifts of snacks and drinks, and their numbers swelled to over 500. As they were returning, they were met by a township council chairman who called the leaders to his office and warned them against further demonstrations and then required them to sign documents promising that they wouldn’t make any more trouble. However, they have said that they will continue with their actions despite having had to sign the pledges.


Protests continued to be held in Rangoon under very tight security: plainclothes officers, council officials and gang members have been posted at major intersections and markets to stop rallies as soon as they start and bundle the participants into waiting Dyna flat-top trucks.

On August 28, protests were held at markets and central areas in Hledan, Tamwe and Kamayut.

At Hledan, the protest by some 70 persons in early afternoon was led by international human rights prize laureate Ma Su Su Nwe (http://campaigns.ahrchk.net/susunwe/). She and some colleagues escaped an attempt to grab them but ten other persons were reportedly taken away. The ten have been identified as Kyaw Soe Win, San Win and Thant Zin from Hlaingthayar Township; Hla Naing from Insein; Nay Tun for Paungtal; Ye Thin Naing from Chauk and Bo Bo Win Hlaing from Dawbone, plus three onlookers.

Photographs are available on the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) website: http://english.dvb.no/photo1.php

The AHRC has also obtained some new video of the protest from the DVB which clearly shows protestors being brutally assaulted by unidentified assailants which will be placed on the radio station’s website shortly.

At Tamwe five persons were reportedly arrested for protesting near the market around 2pm.


According to DVB, on the night of August 27 the authorities took people from houses in Saku town, Magwe Division, west of Mandalay. Fourteen persons were taken away and four later released; the whereabouts of the other 10 are still unknown.

At time of writing, there are unconfirmed reports of new protests in Sittwe and in Mandalay, upper Burma.


So far the international community has failed to act on these protests. A few short sentences from the UN Secretary General, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the European Union and some governments is the sum total of their effort for the human rights of people in Burma. Meanwhile, much of the news reporting has been dismissive of the protestors’ prospects, ignoring many lessons from history and without proper understanding of the current conditions there.

Any form of positive international intervention is needed now. Apart from sending letters to key United Nations officials, like the one in the previous appeal, you can act by lobbying your local member of parliament and foreign minister or other equivalent persons in your government: demand that they act to address the situation in Burma. If possible, go to present your letter in person, arrange for an appointment, or hold a demonstration of your own.

To support this case, please click here: SEND APPEAL LETTER


Dear __________,

MYANMAR: Please take action on recent price rises and protests

I have followed events in Myanmar closely since fuel prices there were suddenly and dramatically increased on 15 August 2007, leading to a series of protests around the country. The protests have continued and spread, despite the fact that most of the leaders in the first days have been taken into illegal custody by unidentified men, many from government-organised gangs.

However, I am surprised and saddened by the almost non-existent response to these important events by the international community. The brief comments from key United Nations personnel and others have been far from sufficient.

At this critical time the active involvement of the international community is absolutely vital. People of Myanmar are looking for and depending upon support from outside in order to emerge from the decades of dictatorship under which they have been forced to subsist. I therefore call upon you to see that our government takes up these matters at the highest levels in the international diplomatic community and within the United Nations in order that they obtain much more attention and priority in the days and weeks ahead.

Your swift intervention is crucial. I await it with the highest expectations.

Yours sincerely,



Below is the list of persons detained up to August 25 as compiled by the PDC. It is not comprehensive.

List of Persons Who Have Been Detained by the Burmese Military Junta in Connection with the Recent Peaceful Demonstrations from August 21-25, 2007

21 August, 10am, at a teashop in Rangoon: 5 students were arrested for distributing pamphlets which called for demonstrations against the price hike. They were arrested by unknown people and were taken to a police station.
1. Nyan Oo 
2. Zayer Mon
3. Nyan Lin Oo
4. Nyi Lwin Oo
5. Kyaw Ko Ko

21 August, around midnight, at their homes in Rangoon: 14 leaders of the ’88 Generation Student Group were arrested by those who claimed to be from the Ministry of Home Affairs. One of them identified himself as Deputy Police Chief Aung Myint. The officials searched the homes of those arrested and seized their belongings.
6. Min Ko Naing 
7. Ko Ko Gyi 
8. Pyone Cho (a.k.a.) Htay Win Aung
9. Min Zeyar 
10. Mya Aye 
11. Jimmy (a.k.a.) Kyaw Min Yu
12. Zeya 
13. Kyaw Kyaw Htwe (a.k.a.) Marki 
14. Ant Bwe Kyaw
15. Panneik Tun 
16. Zaw Zaw Min
17. Thet Zaw 
18. Nyan Lin Tun
19. Yin Tun

22 August, around 12, at Parami Junction: They were peacefully walking from Maynigone junction to Thamine Junction. When they were arrested, they were beaten by Soe Win Than, a member of the USDA.
20. Naw Ohn Hla (F)
21. San San Myint (F)
22. Cho Cho Lwin (F)
23. Yin Yin Myat (F)
24. Tin Yee (F)
25. Than Zaw Myint
26. Tin Maung Yee

23 August, around 10am, at Shwe Gone Dyne (Bahan Township, Rangoon Division): Members of the National League for Democracy (NLD) who were arrested during a 3 kilometer march by 40 NLD members to the party headquarters in Rangoon.
27. Tun Myint 
28. Kyi Phyu
29. Myo Khin 
30. Tin Myint 
31. Tin Zaw Oo
32. Lay Lwin 
33. Zaw Zaw Aung 
34. Ko Ye 
35. Tin Maung Oo
36. Phyo Min Kyin 
37. Soe Kywe
38. Khin Aye (F)
39. Myint Thein (F)
40. Aung Tun   
41. Tin Oo Maung
42. Soe Kyaw
43. Unknown
44. Unknown
45. Unknown
46. Unknown
47. Unknown

23 August, around 1:30pm, outside the US Embassy in Rangoon: Former political prisoner staged a solo protest holding a placard calling for UN intervention to initiate the parliament in Burma. He was hauled away within minutes by plainclothes officers. This is his 6th arrest. 
48. Ohn Than

23 August: Other detainees
49. Aung Min Naing (a.k.a.) Mi Thwe N/A 
50. Salai ye Pe Jin
51. Sai Min Thein
52. Min Maung
53. Aung Kyaw Oo
54. Min Maung
55. Ma Noble Aye: One of the ’88 Generation Student leaders. She is also a former political prisoner; taken from her personal residence in Thingangun, Rangoon
56. Unidentified woman arrested by U Ko Ko Hlaing 
57. Ma Yin Yin Thite 
58. Unidentified person arrested in South Dagon

24 August, around 9am, near Bassein Market, Irrawaddy Division: Former political prisoner and a member of the NLD arrested by a policeman for a solo protest. 
59. Aye Win

24 August, around 11:30am, near his personal residence in Rangoon: Leader of Human Rights Defenders and Promoters (HRDP) group, arrested near his home by the Chairperson of the Kemmendine Township Peace and Development Council and Sub-Lieutenant Win Myint of Police Special Branch.   
60. Myint Aye

24 August, arrested in front of Rangoon City Hall and Central Hotel
61. Aung Zaw Oo
62. Thein Myint Tun
63. Saw Lwin
64. Nyunt Win
65. Ma Ngal (F)
66. Saw Hlaing
67. Aung Zaw Oo
68. Myo Min Thein
69. Myint Tun
70. Tun Tun Oo
71. San San Myint (F)
72. Khin Maung Cho
73. Min Min Oo
74. Thein Htay
75. Tin Maung Kyi
76. Tin Maung Kyi’s wife 
77. Tin Maung Kyi’s daughter
78. Nyo Nyo Lwin (F)
79. Khin Mar Cho (F)
80. Sein Htwe (F)
81. Soe Soe (F)
82. Thandar (F)
83. Tin Hla (F)
84. Ni Ni Aye (F)
85. Myint Maw (F)
86. San San Myint (a.k.a.) Win Myat (F)
87. Khin San Oo (F)
88. May Theingi (F)
89. Myint Oo
90. Tun Tun Win
91. Than Hlaing 
92. Aung Kyaw Naing
93. Lu Aye
94. Myint Naing
95. Myo Min Maung
96. Kyaw Thurein

25 August, midnight, at her personal residence in Rangoon: Former member of Aung San Suu Kyi’s personal security team and former political prisoner.
97. Sandar Min (F)

25 August, 1:30, downtown Rangoon 
98. Htin Kyaw: Myanmar Development Committee (MDC) chairperson; previously arrested
99. Zaw Nyunt (a) Arka Hein: Former chairperson of the Labor Solidarity organization

Around about 8pm at his personal residence in Hinthada, Irrawaddy Division
100. Kyi Than (tuition teacher)

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (ahrchk@ahrchk.org)