Friday, October 12, 2007

In Which Mr Cogito Contemplates The Outside World, The Inside World, The Fear of AIDS/HIV And The Old Transnational Phenomena Of Induced Near-Drowning

"Myanmar's military junta rejected a U.N. statement calling for negotiations with the opposition, insisting Friday that it would follow its own plan to bring democracy to the country.

The impoverished country's main opposition party, however, urged the ruling generals to comply with U.N. demands for negotiations with pro-democracy forces and ethnic minorities, and the release of political prisoners.

State-run TV and radio issued a statement Friday arguing that conditions inside Myanmar -- a reference to the anti-government protests that were violently suppressed by troops on Sept. 26 and 27 -- were not the concern of the outside world....

Myanmar's military junta has said 10 people were killed and nearly 2,100 arrested in last month's demonstrations, with 700 later released. Diplomats and dissidents say the death toll is likely much higher and up to 6,000 people were seized, including thousands of monks who led the rallies.

At least a dozen freed prisoners described brutal treatment at detention centers, including one who said ''dozens'' of detainees were killed, the Democratic Voice of Burma, a Norway-based short-wave radio station and Web site run by dissident journalists, said in a report Thursday.

There was no way to independently confirm the reports attributed to freed prisoners.

In an interview with The Associated Press, another released prisoner, Zaw Myint, 45, said he was arrested Sept. 26 on a Yangon street after a soldier bashed his face with the butt of his gun, leaving a bloody gash across his cheek.

Zaw Myint said he was denied treatment for three days then stitched up by a doctor at Yangon's notorious Insein prison, after the physician had treated several other wounded prisoners.

''He used the same needle to treat all patients. And I saw him give injections to wounded people using the same syringe,'' said Zaw Myint, who was released after a week in custody. He said was ''extremely worried'' about having contracted HIV as a result of the treatment. Rights groups say Myanmar's prisons have soaring rates of HIV-AIDS.

Human rights groups have long accused the military government of abuse and torture of prisoners. The Thailand-based Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, comprised of around 100 former inmates, has put out a report describing homosexual rape, electric shocks to the genitals, near drowning, burning with hot wax and other abuse." ...

Associated Press "Myanmar Rejects UN Call for Negotiations" New York Times October 12, 2007


Orlando De Guzman "Myanmar's Hidden AIDS Epidemic" PBS Frontline World April 25, 2006

AIDS patients in Myanmar.

Photo credit: (c) Orlando de Guzman and WGBH Boston. 2002-2007. All rights reserved.


Post a Comment

<< Home