Human Rights Activist Attacked in Rangoon

29 March 2008

By Wai Moe
Friday, March 28, 2008
[Source - Irrawaddy]

A leading human rights activist has been attacked by two unidentified men in Rangoon, according to dissident sources.

Myint Aye, 54, the founder of the Human Rights Defenders and Promoters (HRDP) was attacked and beaten in Sanchaung Township, Rangoon on Thursday evening. He was admitted to Rangoon General Hospital.

Myint Aye told The Irrawaddy by phone on Friday that two men had attacked him and beat him about the head with batons at about 9 p.m. On Thursday evening while he was walking home. “I don’t know who did it, because I couldn’t see,” he said. “I don’t have any personal problem with anyone. I just promote and defend human rights in my country.”

“If I was attacked because I believe deeply in human rights, I would like to say to my attackers that I will not give up my stand,” he added.

Myint Aye reported the assault to the township court in Sanchaung.

In an incident last year, two other members of HRDP, Myint Naing and Maung Maung Lay, were brutally attacked by members of the junta-backed Union Solidarity and Development Association. The two activists were seriously injured and hospitalized at the Rangoon General Hospital in critical condition. Myint Naing was later sentenced to eight years imprisonment for reporting the crime under the State Emergency Act.

Than Lwin, an elected representative in the 1990 election and member of the National League for Democracy (NLD), was also attacked by pro-junta thugs wearing steel knuckledusters in June 2007 as he returned home from a pagoda in Madaya Township, where he had been praying for the release of NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Than Lwin and some of his family members were later imprisoned because they complained to the authorities about the attack. Than Lwin is currently in Mandalay prison. One of his eyes has been damaged by an infection resulting from the attack, according to one of his family members.

“The latest attack on a human rights activist, U Myint Aye, shows there is not real law enforcement in the country,” said Bo Kyi, joint secretary of the Assistant Association for Political Prisoners-Burma, a Burmese human rights group in exile.

“Not only U Myint Aye, but other human rights and democracy activists have been attacked previously,” he said.” These kinds of situations are unacceptable.”

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