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Old 20-12-21, 11:24   #1
 
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Movies Australian Adviser to Suu Kyi Gets Three Years Jail in Myanmar

Tortured to DEATH: Myanmar Mass Killings Revealed

BBC Investigates Myanmar Military's Mass Killings

The Myanmar military carried out a series of mass killings of civilians in July that resulted in the deaths of at least 40 men, a BBC investigation has found.

BBC News 20 DEC 2021.











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Military Truck Rams into Group of Myanmar Protesters






Kani Map




Eyewitnesses and survivors said that soldiers, some as young as 17, rounded up villagers before separating the men and killing them. Video footage and images from the incidents appear to show most of those killed were tortured first and buried in shallow graves.

The killings took place in July, in four separate incidents in Kani Township - an opposition stronghold in Sagaing District in Central Myanmar.

It's thought the killings were a collective punishment for attacks by militia groups demanding a return to democracy following a military coup in February. A spokesman for the military government did not deny the allegations.

The military has faced resistance from civilians since it seized control of the country, which is also called Burma, deposing a democratically-elected government led by Aung San Suu Kyi.

The BBC spoke to 11 witnesses in Kani and compared their accounts with mobile phone footage and photographs collected by Myanmar Witness, a UK-based NGO that investigates human rights abuses in the country.


The largest killing took place in Yin village, where at least 14 men were tortured or beaten to death and their bodies thrown in a forested gully.

The witnesses in Yin - whose names we have withheld to protect their identities - told the BBC the men were tied up with ropes and beaten before they were killed.

"We couldn't stand to watch it so we kept our heads down, crying," said one woman, whose brother, nephew and brother-in-law were killed.

"We begged them not to do it. They didn't care. They asked the women, 'Are your husbands among them? If they are, do your last rites'."

A man who managed to escape the killings said that soldiers inflicted horrifying abuse on the men for hours before they died.

"They were tied up, beaten with stones and rifle butts and tortured all day," the survivor said.

"Some soldiers looked young, maybe 17 or 18, but some were really old. There was also a woman with them."



In nearby Zee Bin Dwin village, in late July, 12 mutilated bodies were found buried in shallow mass graves, including a small body, possibly a child, and the body of a disabled person. Some were mutilated.

The body of a man in his sixties was found tied to a plum tree nearby. Footage of his corpse, reviewed by the BBC, showed clear signs of torture. His family said that his son and grandchild had fled when the military entered the village, but he had stayed, believing his age would protect him from harm.

The killings appeared to be a collective punishment for attacks on the military by civilian militia groups in the area, who are demanding that democracy is restored. Fighting between the military and the local branches of the People's Defence Force - a collective name for civilian militia groups - had intensified in the area in the months before the mass killings, including clashes near Zee Bin Dwin.

It is clear from the visual evidence and testimony gathered by the BBC that men were specifically targeted, fitting with a pattern observed across Myanmar in recent months of male villagers facing collective punishment for clashes between the People's Defence Forces and the military.

Myanmar's coup: Why now and what's next?



The families of those killed insisted that the men were not involved in attacks on the military. A woman who lost her brother in the Yin village massacre said she pleaded with the soldiers, telling them her brother "could not even handle a catapult".

She said a soldier replied, "Don't say anything. We are tired. We will kill you."

Foreign journalists have been barred from reporting in Myanmar since the coup, and most non-state media outlets have been shut down, making on-the-ground reporting all but impossible.

The BBC put the allegations raised in this story to Myanmar's Deputy Minister for Information and military spokesperson, General Zaw Min Tun. He did not deny soldiers had carried out the mass killings.

"It can happen," he said. "When they treat us as enemies, we have the right to defend ourselves."

How Myanmar Military Uses Torture to Suppress Women




Women in Myanmar have been tortured, sexually harassed and threatened with rape in custody, according to accounts obtained by the BBC....

Warning: This Piece Contains Disturbing Descriptions of Abuse.



Five women who were detained for protesting against a military coup in the country earlier this year say they were abused and tortured in the detention system after their arrests.

Their names have been changed in the following accounts to protect their safety.

Since Myanmar's military seized power in February, protests have swept across the country - and women have played a prominent role in the resistance movement.

Human rights groups say that although the military in Myanmar (also known as Burma) used disappearances, hostage-taking and torture tactics before, the violence has become more widespread since the coup.

As of 8 December, 1,318 civilians have been killed during military crackdowns on the pro-democracy movement, including 93 women, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) non-profit human rights organisation.

At least eight of those women died while in custody, four of whom were tortured to death in an interrogation centre.

More than 10,200 people have been detained in total, including over 2,000 women.





Illustration of a woman activist in Myanmar holding the three-finger salute


Democracy activist Ein Soe May was imprisoned for almost six months - the first 10 days of which were spent in one of Myanmar's notorious interrogation centres, where she alleges she was sexually assaulted and tortured.

Soe May told the BBC that one morning, while making placards for a protest, she was arrested and bundled into the back of a van.

"It was already night when I arrived [at an undisclosed location]. I was blindfolded and made to dodge imaginary objects as I made my way to the interrogation room, so they could make a fool of me," Soe May said.

Her captors questioned her, and for every answer they didn't like they hit her with a bamboo stick.

Soe May said she was also repeatedly pressed for details of her sex life. One interrogator threatened: "Do you know what we do to the women that end up here? We rape and kill them."

She was then sexually assaulted while blindfolded. "They pulled down the oversized top I was wearing, they touched me as they did it, exposing my body," she said.





Illustration of a blindfolded woman and a hand holding a revolver


Her blindfold was later removed, and she saw one of the guards take all but one of the bullets out of his revolver.

When she didn't give them details of her contacts, they made her open her mouth and "forced the loaded revolver inside it", she said.


Makeshift Detention Centres


According to Manny Maung, Myanmar researcher at Human Rights Watch (HRW), interrogation centres "could be anything from makeshift holding sites, a room in a military barrack or even an abandoned public building".

This was corroborated by a lawyer in Myanmar who spoke to the BBC, but asked not to be named for her own safety. She said she represented several detainees who had also reported being tortured and sexually assaulted during interrogations.

"One of my clients was wrongly identified but arrested anyway. When she explained she wasn't the person the authorities accused her of being, she was tortured with an iron rod which was rolled over her shins repeatedly until she lost consciousness," the lawyer said.

The woman was then "sent to another interrogation centre where she alleges a male guard told her that if she slept with him, he would get her released", she added.

The lawyer described a legal system in Myanmar as opaque, and where attorneys like her are sometimes powerless.

"We try to challenge [arrests and interrogations], but we are told the processes are legal and that [interrogators] have been given orders."


The United Nations is currently investigating alleged human rights abuses carried out by the Myanmar military.





Myanmar's Killing Fields (Full Documentary)

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Old 29-09-22, 07:00   #2
 
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Movies Re: Australian Adviser to Suu Kyi Gets Three Years Jail in Myanmar

Sean Turnell: Australian Adviser to Suu Kyi Gets Three Years Jail in Myanmar

An Australian professor and former adviser to Myanmar's ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been jailed for three years by military authorities.

BBC News 29 SEP 2022.






Sean Turnell (left) was convicted of security breaches along with Myanmar's former leader Aung San Suu Kyi (right)...


Sean Turnell was detained in Yangon in February 2021, days after the junta arrested Ms Suu Kyi and overthrew her elected government in a coup.

He was charged along with Ms Suu Kyi for breaching the Official Secrets Act - allegations they've both denied.

Both were sentenced on Thursday in trials criticised by rights groups.

Their trials operated in a closed military court.

"Sean Turnell was denied a fair trial or adequate access to legal counsel and consular assistance. The proceedings have been an outright sham...[and] is the latest in a string of politically motivated cases," said Amnesty International Australia Impact Director Tim O'Connor.

Ms Suu Kyi was sentenced to another three years in jail for breaching the same act. She had already been sentenced to more than two decades in prison on over a dozen counts brought by the military government - with several charges still remaining.

If convicted on all charges, she could face almost 200 years in prison.

At his trial in August, Mr Turnell strongly denied the accusations of violating the nation's state secrets act - which carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in jail.

The Australian economist, based in Myanmar since 2017, had worked as an adviser to the civilian government led by Ms Suu Kyi prior to the coup.

The past year had seen significant international pressure and foreign lobbying for his release.

The Australian government had consistently called on the junta to release him, while Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen also appealed for his freedom in a meeting with Myanmar's military leader General Min Aung Hlaing earlier this year.

Mr Turnell was also convicted of breaching an immigration law on Thursday and handed a three-year sentence, for which the court said he would serve concurrently.

Myanmar's military overthrew Aung San Suu Kyi's democratically elected government in February 2021 - sparking huge protests across the country and a widespread resistance movement.

It's estimated more than 15,600 people - including Ms Suu Kyi, other lawmakers, activists and journalists - have been arrested since the military seized power.

More than 12,000 people remain detained while at least 2,322 political prisoners have been killed by the regime says the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners monitoring group.

Earlier this month, Britain's former ambassador to Myanmar Vicky Bowman and her husband were both jailed for a year for breaching immigration laws. Their case is also seen to about wider political concerns than immigration offences, for which foreigners are rarely prosecuted in Myanmar.





Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi gets 3 years' jail for election fraud

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