Myanmar: 15 law students still detained by military junta; another recalls flight from police and soldiers after Mandalay protest


Law students reporting for JURIST in Myanmar said Tuesday that 15 law students from four different universities are still being held by Myanmar authorities in the wake of protests that have swept the country since the military displaced the civilian government effectively led by Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1. Six of the detained law students are from the University of Yangon, 5 are from Dagon University, 3 are from East Yangon University, and 1 is from Yadanabon University in Mandalay. Six of the students were detained after large-scale but peaceful protests in Yangon on March 3; one was detained March 7 after a peaceful pro-democracy protest in Mandalay was violently broken up by police and soldiers using tear gas, flash-bangs and rubber bullets. The Yangon law student detainees are believed to be held in Insein Prison in Yangon. Attempts by teachers and lawyers to have them released have thusfar been unsuccessful.

The Mandalay March 7 protest and its aftermath, when hundreds of fleeing students took shelter from agents of the military junta in the homes of neighborhood residents, is now described by one of our Myanmar law student correspondents in a vivid and terrifying retrospective. She says it was “the scariest day of my life” but she insists she will go on protesting, and go on fighting.