Myanmar arrests top dissident: rights group


Myanmar arrests top dissident: rights groupMyanmar authorities have arrested another top pro-democracy leader along with three other political dissidents in Yangon, Amnesty International said on Saturday.
Htay Kywe, who had been in hiding since shortly after anti-government protests began in Yangon in mid-August, was arrested along with three other activists, the rights group said.
He was detained along with Mi, a 35-year-old mother of two, and Aung Thu, a 43-year-old man, as well as a fourth person not yet identified, it said.
“We believe they were arrested at the same location in Yangon,” Amnesty said in a statement.
“We are extremely concerned for the well-being of these people given their prominence, and we do fear that they risk torture and ill treatment,” the group said.
Htay Kywe and Mi led some of the first protests against the military regime in mid-August, harnessing public anger at an overnight jump in fuel prices that left many unable to afford even the bus to work.
They went into hiding after 13 other top pro-democracy leaders were arrested on August 21.
They all belong to a group called the 88 Generation Students, made up of veteran student leaders who spearheaded a 1988 uprising against the military.
“Continued arrests in Burma make a mockery of assurances that Burmese authorities have given to the United Nations Security Council,” Amnesty said.
Myanmar, which is also known as Burma, cracked down on the protests in late September after Buddhist monks joined the movement, bringing popular support to the campaign and drawing up to 100,000 people into the streets.
At least 13 people died in the crackdown, sparking international outrage.
The UN Security Council issued a statement on Thursday deploring the violence and calling for the release of political prisoners.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2007