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USCB Demands Burma Cease All Violence on Protestors; Urges U.S. Government to Investigate Regime-backed Actions of Brutality and Suppression Against Protestors

By US Campaign for Burma  •  March 12, 2015

(Washington DC, March 11, 2015) – Today, March 11, 2015, U.S. Campaign for Burma (USCB) demands an end to the violence exerted on protesting students in Rangoon and Letpadan, and calls for an international investigation on the Burmese regime’s actions on citizens who assemble and protest peacefully. Time and again, the Burmese regime clearly demonstrates its reluctance to allow citizens the right to peacefully assemble as egregious violence and threats of arrest continue unabated with impunity, yet the international community remains impotent.

Since the U.S. Government’s re-engagement towards the Burmese regime, we have continued to witness acts of violence on ethnic minorities and protestors without accountability. Since 2012, violent crackdowns, unlawful arrests and displacement of individuals, nearly all carried out by the so-called “independent actions” of police and security forces, has been the scapegoat for the Burmese regime’s continued authoritarian control over the nation. Examples of this violence and arbitrary arrests include:

  • July-August 2012: Dozens of farmers arrested and nearly 200 farmers face trial in Kanbalu province of Burma for the peaceful protest of their lands being confiscated without the free, fair and informed consent of the farmers. Intimidation by security forces and the Burmese Army continues today throughout Burma as land continues to be confiscated and protestors threatened with jail time.
  • September 2012: International Peace Day organizers were charged for their peaceful march on Rangoon.
  • November 2012: Security forces violently crack down with white phosphorous devices on sleeping protestors at Letpadaung copper mine in Monywa of northwestern Burma, leaving dozens permanently marred and injured. Any such attempts at accountability were left to a government-backed report that audaciously supported all actions by the security forces. Investigations continue today on the Letpadaung incident, most recently by Amnesty International’s report.
  • December 2013: The arrest and re-arrests of many political prisoners and prisoners of conscience despite the commitment by the Burmese regime to release all political prisoners by the end of 2013.

These incidents, along with many others, have gone unaccounted for by the international community. Now, with over 100 students arrested and many more injured by regime-backed thugs and security forces with blunt force weapons while protesting the undemocratic National Education Law, it is clear that the Burmese regime is committed to policies of violence and harassment against all who oppose their authoritarian practices.

USCB demands that all violence and unlawful arrests, as well as the unending harassment, cease immediately toward student protestors, and calls upon the U.S. Government to conduct an international investigation on the Burmese regime’s use of violent programs against peaceful protestors. Should the demands of an international investigation go unmet, it will be clear that the U.S. Government’s interests only lie within their own investment gains, and not the human rights and freedom of all in Burma.

The following individuals are available for media inquiries:

Simon Billenness
Executive Director
U.S. Campaign for Burma

Brianna Oliver
Director, Communications & Development
U.S. Campaign for Burma

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This post is in: Press Release

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