Wednesday January 23rd 2019



Courage to Resist

By: Women’s League of Burma
Publication date: November 2007

A new report details how women activists have been hunted down, assaulted, tortured and framed with false charges, and their family members threatened and held hostage in the recent crackdown in Burma.


Across the world Human Rights Defenders work actively in the promotion and protection of Human Rights. They work within a Human Rights framework, and use Conventions and Treaties to expose abuse and demand States be accountable for their actions. As State abuses are exposed, Human Rights Defenders often become the targets of violence.

Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) are more at risk of certain violence and restrictions, and are made to suffer prejudices, exclusion, arbitrary arrests, rape, sexual assault, public humiliation and their families threatened with violence or death.

The Women Rights Defenders in Burma have been particularly targeted. Like all human rights defenders in Burma, women human rights defenders have since 1962 faced arbitrary arrest, detention and torture for simply asking the regime to respect human rights and to accept people’s desires for freedom, peace and democracy. It was well reported that during the nationwide uprising in 1988, young women students were sexually assaulted by the Special Police (“Lon Htein”) while in custody.

The most renowned human rights defender, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace Laureate, has been the subject of arbitrary house arrest for defending her political rights and the democratic rights of the people of Burma. Since 1989, she has spent more than 12 years under detention for her commitment to the pro-democracy movement.

Due to her political involvement, she was attacked on May 30, 2003 in Depayin by members of the state-sponsored Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA). She has been detained under the regime’s “1975 State Protection Act” to date.