“Pro-democracy activists in Burma face continuing harassment ahead of next month’s national referendum on a military-drafted constitution, according to the country’s main opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD).
Nyan Win, a spokesperson for the party, told The Irrawaddy on Friday that unidentified thugs attacked NLD members in two different areas of Rangoon in the past week. He said that harassment also continued in other parts of the country.
“Ko Thi Han, an NLD youth leader from South Dagon Myothit Township was attacked by unknown thugs with batons on April 16 because he was wearing a ‘No’ T-shirt,” said Nyan Win. “He was returning to his home by bicycle when some people in a car started to follow him and then got out to attack him.”
Another Rangoon-based NLD activist, Win Thein, and several members of his family were similarly assaulted while they were walking home from a bus stop in North Okkalapa Township, he added.
“Other harassment of NLD activities occurred in Taunggok Township in Arakan State and Wakema and Dedaye Townships in Irrawaddy Division,” said Nyan Win.
“Authorities in places all over the country seized copies of an NLD statement titled ‘Request to the People,’ calling on people to vote against the constitution because it is fundamentally undemocratic.””
Además la Junta militar ha detenido a un famoso rapero birmano por apoyar el movimiento pro-democracia:
Burmese authorities have arrested popular rap and hip-hop performer Yan Yan Chan in a continuing round-up of celebrities who support the pro-democracy movement.
A resident of Monywa Township in Upper Burma who knows Yan Yan well said he was arrested with a friend, Mie Mie, early Thursday. They were arrested at the house of a mutual friend in Monywa Township, the resident said.
Yan Yan Chan
Yan Yan Chan and three musicians founded Burma’s first hip-hop band, ACID in late 2000 and became very popular on the country’s music scene.
A singer who is a friend of Yan Yan Chan said the pop star had been under observation by the authorities since the arrest of his friend Zayar Thaw, another member of ACID, in late February. Zayar Thaw was sent to Rangoon’s notorious Insein Prison.
Burmese authorities have become increasingly nervous about the activities of the country’s pop music community and Internet bloggers since the monk-led demonstrations of September 2007.
Musician Win Maw, leader of the Shwe Thansin group, was arrested last November 27 in a Rangoon teashop. He had already been sentenced to seven years imprisonment in 1997 for writing songs in support of Burma’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Mientras el que está considerado como el segundo activista pro-democracia más importante de Birmania, después de Aung San Suu Kyi, padece una infección muy grave en un ojo y se le ha denegado cualquier tratamiento médico.
Min Ko Naing, widely regarded as Burma’s most respected activist after democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, is suffering from a serious eye infection, according to a family member who says that the authorities have refused to allow him to receive treatment from an eye specialist.
The relative, who spoke to The Irrawaddy on Thursday on condition of anonymity, said that the activist’s family had learned of his condition during a visit to Rangoon’s infamous Insein Prison, where he is being held, on April 9. She added that his eyes have been in severe pain since late March.
“He asked prison officials for a consultation with an eye specialist, but they said that eye specialists visit the prison once a month. They told him he would have to wait at least a month and get permission from the authorities,” said the relative, adding that the pain had become so great that he was unable to sleep at night.
Ya hablé hace unos días del ataque a un activista prodemocracia que fue atacado en una parada de autobús cuando volvía a casa. Pues el acoso continúa, como consecuencia de que el mes próximo tendrá lugar el referéndum sobre la constitución escrita por la junta, según el partido de la oposición más importante del país, la Liga Nacional por la Democracia (NLD).
Otro activista del NLD que vive en Rangón, Win Thein, y otros varios miembros de su familia fueron asaltados de manera similar cuando estaban andando hacia su casa desde una parada de autobús en North Okkalapa Township, añadió.
“Otras actividades de acoso tuvieron lugar en Taunggok Township en el Estado de Arakan y en Wakema y Dedaye en el Distrito de Irrawaddy,” añadió.
“Las autoridades en todos los sitios del país han requisado copias de la declaración del NLD titulada ‘Petición al Pueblo,’ pidiendo a todos que voten contra la constitución porque es fundamentalmente no democrática.””