What Matters No. 41
(This article is a translation of the original Burmese language version that ISP-Myanmar posted on its Facebook page on August 25, 2021.)
After the military staged a coup d’état on February 1, 2021, more than 7,000 people were arrested nationwide as of August 23, 2021. Among these, 5,821 remain in custody. Students and civilians who took part in the mass movement against the State Administration council (SAC) were the majority of those arrested. Staff who joined the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) and supporters of CDM, artists, celebrities, media personnel as well as doctors, nurses, and medical personnel were also detained. As of now, 48 doctors have been detained, and the SAC is also arresting volunteer doctors who have been providing medical care during the latest wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Section 505A of the Penal Code is widely used to bring charges against the detained and those who have warrants issued against them. Compared to the figures detailed in the previous What Matters No. 38 on August 14, 2021, the number of detainees increased by more than 259 people. Moreover, compared to the figures in July, it can be seen that the number of detainees has increased.
∎ Why does it matter?
An analysis of the number of people arrested and imprisoned since the February coup shows the SAC’s use of the pillars of justice to suppress its opponents. Studying the civilian fatalities caused by the SAC’s violent suppression of protestors offers a way to assess whether or not Myanmar’s armed forces are violating human rights. Records of the deaths of protestors are useful for researchers, human rights activists, and political actors to examine the SAC’s human rights violations from a transitional justice perspective.
∎ Other relevant readings
Independent media and independent organizations such as the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) have monitored and collected detailed data on the number of protesters who were targeted, arrested, and killed during violent crackdowns in the aftermath of the February 1 military coup. They have also documented other issues such as the way SAC’s forces have responded to anti-coup protests, and evidence of human rights and dignity violations by government officials.