Data Matters No. 6
(This article is a translation of the original Burmese language version that ISP-Myanmar posted on its Facebook page on February 19, 2022.)
At least 12,000 people have been arrested across the country between February 1, 2021, and February 16, 2022, including members of the National League for Democracy, the Union Election Commission, political activists, and anti-coup protesters. Only about 3,000 have been released so far, while at least 9,000 remain in detention. A statement from the State Administration Council said that more than 11,000 people have been arrested and accused of committing acts of violence.
At least 829 people among those still in detention have been sentenced, based on data compiled from reports by the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) and independent news outlets. Among these, more than 100 were sentenced to death and over 60 were sentenced to life imprisonment. Most of those receiving death sentences, some 35 individuals, come from Yangon Region’s North Okkalapa Township.
Within a year of the coup, the SAC has granted only five general amnesties. More than 50,000 detainees have been released on these five occasions, but only about 10 to 15 percent of those released were charged in connection with the anti-coup movement. In particular, more than 46,000 people were released during the two amnesties issued on February 12 and April 17, 2021, but no one was detained after the military coup has been released.
∎ 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.