Burmese Junta Downplays Protest Death Toll: Report

Government 'lying,' rights group says
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2007 1:30 PM CST
Men and women from Myanmar shout slogans to protest against the alleged forceful closure of Buddhist monasteries by the military junta in Myanmar, at a rally in New Delhi, India, Wednesday Dec. 5, 2007....   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The quashing of pro-democracy demonstrations in September was significantly bloodier than the Burmese junta claims, says a Human Rights Watch report released today. Although the government acknowledges only 10 deaths during the suppression of the protests, 20 killings have been verified by eyewitnesses in Yangon alone, and the rights group projects a much higher total, CNN reports.

A UN investigator put the death toll at 110 after his November visit. In addition, it is believed that many of the 2,900 the government said it detained and released actually remain incarcerated. "The crackdown is far from over," said Human Rights Watch Asia’s director. "Harsh repression continues, and the government is still lying about the extent of the deaths and detentions."