News : Article

Commission urges action against police

Graphic: Police crack down on a protester

Myanmar's national human rights body has urged the government to take legal action against police who beat up protesters at an education reform rally.

Myanmar's national human rights body has urged the government to take legal action against police who beat up protesters at an education reform rally, while dozens of activists continue to be held in detention.

The call from the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission on 11 September 2015 comes after its investigation into the student-led protest in March.

A report on the Mizzima news website said that violent scenes flared at the rally in Letpadan town, north of Yangon, with riot police arresting more than 100 activists.

"Making arrests through beatings goes against official police procedures," the Commission said in a statement, adding it had documented "injuries to the head and face of some protesters".

"Legal action must be taken against police force members who didn't follow the correct procedures," the rights body said.

It added that activists who threw stones at police officers or destroyed their temporary tents and barricades should also face legal action.

The crackdown on the protesters came as scores marched to meet fellow activists in Yangon, calling for changes to the country's education laws, including decentralising the school system, allowing student unions and teaching in ethnic-minority languages.

In June, Myanmar's parliament approved amendments to an education bill, which included approving student unions but failed to respond to protestor's demands regarding decentralisation.

One of the lawyers representing the protesters currently on trial said that 54 were still detained in central Tharrawaddy prison. A total of 81 activists are facing trial, with a few dozen granted bail.

In its statement, the Commission also urged bail for four university students jailed three months ago in Mandalay over a graffiti campaign demanding the release of the Letpadan protesters.

Date: 14 September 2015

Source: AFP/Mizzima


Image credits

  1. Police crack down on a protester - Burma Democratic Concern, Flickr; http://bit.ly/1LBbXoL