Burma protest

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Suu Kyi Launches Appeal as Junta Frees 7K Cons

Detained Burmese leader seeks to overturn extension of house arrest

(Newser) - Lawyers for detained Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi today appealed her recent conviction that extended her years of house arrest, a day after the ruling junta announced it was releasing thousands of prisoners. Reporters were banned from the hearing, where her lawyers insisted that the law under which... More »

Protesters Worldwide Mark Suu Kyi's Birthday

Burmese activist remains on trial

(Newser) - Activists worldwide are marking the 64th birthday of Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese democracy activist who remains on trial for breaking the terms of her house arrest. The EU today called for her "unconditional release," and a group of celebrities ranging from Salman Rushdie to Julia Roberts... More »

Secret Court Sentences Burmese Activists to 65 Years

(Newser) - A closed-door court in Burma has sentenced 14 members of a noted pro-democracy organization to 65 years each. Family members and defense lawyers were not permitted at the trial, and relatives only heard of the sentence from prison officials. The activists were members of 88 Generation Students, a group formed... More »

Out of the Cyclone, Seeds of Change in Burma

(Newser) - In the wake of the ruling junta's efforts to waylay foreign aid following May's Cyclone Nargis, Burmese citizens—including former political prisoners—created a grass-roots relief effort to help the embattled populace. In doing so, writes George Packer in the New Yorker, they may have created the catalyst for long-awaited... More »

Burma's Pens Mightier Than Censors

Info-starved population gets creative to bypass government's gags

(Newser) - Never shy about censorship, Burma has cracked down even more since September's monk uprising—no small event in a country that ranks 164th out of 168 on the Press Freedom Index. But information-starved citizens are finding creative ways to circumvent an extreme government that bans even benign news about soccer... More »

Burmese Junta Downplays Protest Death Toll: Report

Government 'lying,' rights group says

(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... More »

Supporters Rally for Suu Kyi

Protests in 12 cities to mark 12th anniversary of her imprisonment

(Newser) - Protests are in progress in front of 12 Chinese embassies around the world today to mark the 12th anniversary of the incarceration of Burmese political prisoner and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi. Six fellow female laureates also have written an open letter, published in today's Guardian, asking... More »

Bush Tightens Sanctions on Burma

Urges China, India to respond to junta's 'vicious persecution'

(Newser) - President Bush expanded sanctions against Burma today, citing the junta's ongoing "vicious persecution" of protesters. Acknowledging the limits of US influence, he called on India, China and other neighbors to put pressure on the military regime he accused of "ongoing atrocities," Reuters reports. The new sanctions include... More »

Burma's Blood Rubies Lift Junta

Sale of gems supports the junta's brutality

(Newser) - Precious Burmese rubies account for 90% of the world's supply, and fund that nation's brutal military junta, according to Der Spiegel. Though some dealers maintain that ruby sales support the opposition, the German paper reports that profits instead go straight to the junta's coffers. Not only that, but gem miners... More »

Myanmar Junta: 'You Are No Longer Monks'

Prisoners recount abject conditions after peaceful protests

(Newser) - Buddhist monks rounded up in protests in Myanmar faced torturous conditions, a recent detainee told Reuters. During days of interrogation, monks were beaten and denied medical treatment, water, and toilets. Prisoners were stripped of their iconic robes. “You are no longer a monk,” a guard told the prisoner,... More »

Burma Confiscates Phones, Computers to Silence News

Authorities move to shut down last lines of communication to outside world

(Newser) - The Burmese government is cutting the last lines of communication with the outside world, confiscating satellite phones and computers that reporters and bloggers were using to spread news of the violent repression of pro-democracy protests. Officials even demanded to see permits for satellite phones at a United Nations office. Authorities... More »

Burmese Streets Quiet; Monks to be 'Sent Away'

Crackdown seems successful, people 'too scared' to march

(Newser) - The violent Burmese government crackdown appeared successful as heavily-armed police patrolled the quieted streets of Yangon today, and the BBC reported that some 4,000 detained monks were to be vanquished to prisons in the far north. BBC correspondents say the populace is afraid and helpless after riots that left... More »

UN Envoy Lands in Myanmar

Regime restores internet links but standoff with protesters continues

(Newser) - Troops faced off with several hundred pro-democracy protesters again today in central  Yangon as a UN envoy arrived in Myanmar to try to persuade military rulers to negotiate peacefully with demonstrators. There were scattered reports of violence, but no gunfire. With soldiers stationed on every corner and shopping malls, grocery... More »

Violent Face-Off Rages in Burma

Soldiers open fire again, cut internet connections

(Newser) - A brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protesters continued after a bloody confrontation yesterday when soldiers shot dead at least nine people,  including a Japanese news photographer. Troops again opened fire on demonstrators today, cut internet connections and sealed monasteries as crowds defied orders from the ruling military junta to disperse.... More »

9 Killed in Burmese Crackdown

Japanese reporter among dead as troops scatter protesters

(Newser) - Burmese troop forcibly scattered some 70,000 protesters for a second day today, with gunfire claiming the lives of at least nine—even as leaders around the world called for restraint. One of the dead is reportedly a Japanese photographer, spawning fears that the junta is targeting journalists to prevent... More »

Burmese Junta Rounds Up 200 Monks in Midnight Raids

Protesters warned to go home or risk being shot

(Newser) - The Burmese military junta has once again opened fire on pro-democracy protesters in Rangoon and rounded up hundreds of monks in midnight raids on monasteries, the Guardian reports. It was not immediately known if anyone was injured. As many as 200 police officers and soldiers later marched through the streets... More »

Junta Issues Curfew to Stem Protests

Monks vow to keep marching as government sends troops to rally sites

(Newser) - Burma issued a dusk-to-dawn curfew and warned it will crack down on any large meetings, but protesters still marched by the tens of thousands today. The junta also sent out armed troops and declared it time to "take action," raising fears that it will repeat its 1988 crackdown,... More »

Burma's Monks Defy Crackdown

Junta warns of action against protests

(Newser) - Pro-democracy protests in Myanmar continued for an eighth day today, with tens of thousands of  Buddhist monks, joined by students, taking to the streets in Yangon in defiance of government orders. The ruling junta threatened Monday night to crack down on the demonstrations, instructing the monks to return to their... More »

Burmese Protest Swells to 20K

Citizens join monks and nuns in anti-government rallies in Rangoon

(Newser) - Buddhist monks and nuns are at the helm of Burma's 'largest' anti-government protest since the failed student uprising in 1988. An estimated 20,000 took to the streets today in the seventh day of demonstrations for lower prices, an end to the ruling military junta, and release of political prisoners.... More »

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