Friday, September 28, 2007

Burma Junta's Hired Thugs Target Peaceful Protest

Since August 19, 88 Generation and others have been protesting peacefully, yet bravely across Burma in response to the "massive rise in fuel and transportation fees". The junta has been using hired thugs instead of the army to crack down on dissent, even recruiting children,

"On August 25 in Shan State, near the town of Muse, five young Kachin school boys aged 14, 15, and 16, were "recruited" with the use of force by the Burmese army. "

"The military junta then emptied jails in anticipation of arresting dissenters and mobilized the USDA and Swan Aah Shin, a group essentially of junta-backed thugs. Arrests of activists, including 88 Generation students and dissidents, began on Aug. 22."

Reuters has said "paid gangs" are preventing journalists from covering the protest. The junta annouced 88 Generation protesters would be prosecuted and and face up to 20 years in prison. A small group of protesters "eluded several junta thugs" and marched in Kyaukse, Than Shwe's home town. Arrest are said to have reached over 100 and photographs of protesters are being circulated to track them down.