Leaked Reports Reveal the Staggering Scale of those Arrested During the Saffron Revolution (2011)
Date: 26 September 2011
On this day, the 4th anniversary of the Saffron Revolution, a leaked internal document from the Special Branch of the police force reveals for the first time the exact number of those who were arrested and detained during Saffron. Until now, previous military regimes and the current U Thein Sein regime have routinely refused to acknowledge the mass arrests, detentions, and imprisonments of those who dissent, leaving the domestic and international community to guess at the true scale of the repression.
The document, dated October 3, 2007, sheds light on the peaceful protestors who were arrested, detained, and more disturbingly, lost their lives during the Saffron Revolution. The chart, attached below, confirms that the regime initially arrested 2,314 protesters within one week of the brutal crackdowns. According to the figures reported by the various security units in Rangoon, at least 3 of the protesters had died, 6 had been immediately hospitalized and at least 1,604 were still detained, all within 8 days of the beginning of the regime’s response.
In a country that shuns transparency, there are no publicly available records indicating any prisoners’ arrest details, their charges, where they are held, or releases. AAPP demands transparency and compliance with fully functioning democratic institutional practices. This cannot happen until all political prisoners are unconditionally released.
Some questions remain regarding the protesters who were detained, including what charges and sentences they were subjected to. If there is nothing for U Thein Sein’s regime to hide, then the full reports revealing information of those who were arbitrarily arrested and unlawfully detained should be made public, including the names and details of those who remain in prison.
The public should not be fooled by claims of Burma’s fast track to democracy. Until the pillars of democracy are founded – including transparency, basic civil and political rights, and fully democratic elections – anything else falls short of substance.
On this day, the fourth anniversary of the Saffron Revolution, AAPP honors all those who have pressed for democratic change and who continue to endure the challenges while struggling for a fully democratic Burma.
Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma)
For more information –
Tate Naing (Secretary): +66 (0) 812 878 751
Bo Kyi (Joint Secretary); +66 (0) 819 628 713