Jul 31, 2008 (DVB)–The All Burma Federation of Student Unions has criticised the treatment of ten Muslim student activists who have been sent to hard labour camps for their participation in demonstrations in September 2007.
The ten activists were sentenced to two years’ imprisonment by Kyauktada township court this month and sent to remote prison camps in shackles, the organisation said.
In a statement released on 28 July, ABFSU called on the Burmese regime to respect the rights of students and prison inmates, and urged student and human rights groups and the international community to lobby for their protection.
ABFSU spokesperson Myo Tayza said the harsh conditions in prison work camps, where inmates are subjected to hard labour, poor conditions and no proper medical care, had led to the deaths of many prisoners, including 19 monks.
“They throw various charges at us, then send us to these prison work camps, where there is nothing but physical and mental suffering, and there is little hope that anyone can recover from these things,” Myo Tayza said.
“They are not only giving us punishment under the law, they are also torturing us personally.”
ABFSU accused the junta of deliberately causing mental and physical harm to its opponents and seeking to lower the morale of democracy and human rights activists.
“They are committing these abuses on to make an example of the students to discourage future activists,” Myo Tayza said.
“This is an intentional and criminal act against these people.”
Reporting by Aye Nai