Thu, Sep 13, 2007 - Page 5 News List

US accuses Myanmar of roughing up demonstrators


The US has demanded that Myanmar provide access to scores of activists who were detained following the worst protests against the military government in a decade, citing reports that many of them have been beaten in custody.

US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said in a statement late on Tuesday that Washington was concerned about the "well-being" of more than 150 citizens jailed since the Aug. 19 demonstrations began.

"Multiple reports indicate that many of these protesters have been brutally beaten and interrogated," McCormack said in a statement. "We call upon the Burmese regime to allow access to prisoners by international humanitarian organizations, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross and renew our call for the immediate release of all political prisoners in Burma."

The Myanmar government is facing worldwide condemnation for its hard-line handling of the demonstrations, prompted by the governments snap decision to increase fuel prices by as much as 500 percent in the impoverished country.

Meanwhile in Yangon, a court in military court sentenced a man to four years jail for a solo protest calling on Buddhist monks to turn their backs on junta supremo Senior General Than Shwe, the opposition said yesterday.

The man, in his late 20s and identified as Soe Aung, was arrested in Taunggok, 400km northwest of Yangon, on Tuesday and tried and sentenced at a closed hearing within a few hours, the National League for Democracy said.

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