Wikileaks founder granted bail

The founder of whistle-blowing website Wikileaks, Julian Assange, has been granted bail in London on conditions including cash guarantees of £240,000.

But he will remain in prison pending an appeal against the bail decision, which has been lodged by Swedish prosecutors.

Mr Assange is fighting extradition to Sweden, where he is accused of sexually assaulting two women – charges that he denies.

He had been refused bail last week on the grounds that he could flee.

On Tuesday, Mr Assange was granted bail on condition he provides a security of £200,000 to the court, with a further £40,000 guaranteed in two sureties of £20,000 each.

He must also surrender his passport, obey a curfew at a specified address, wear an electronic tag and report to a local police station every evening.

A large crowd including demonstrators, reporters and a number of Mr Assange’s high-profile supporters gathered outside City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court for the bail hearing on Tuesday.

The case is due to return to the court on 11 January. read all


December 14th 2010, at around 12:57 pm, a KHRG researcher reported shelling in Htee Ther Leh village, Kawkareik Township,

Update No.24: December 14th 2010 – 7:30 pm
More fighting reported in Waw Lay area

On December 14th 2010, at around 12:57 pm, a KHRG researcher reported shelling in Htee Ther Leh village, Kawkareik Township, Dooplaya District, and that villagers were fleeing from Mae Klaw Kee and Waw Lay villages. Htee Ther Leh is approximately 20 minutes by motorcycle from Waw Lay. According to a local source in Htee Ther Leh, many of the villagers are hiding in the forest near their fields, instead of fleeing to Thailand, so that they can continue to work. The source also reports that some villagers have said they will go to Thailand if they can finish their work; most villagers in eastern Dooplaya are currently hurrying to finish harvesting bean, corn and paddy crops, the main agricultural products cultivated in the area.

Update No.23: December 14th 2010 – 8:40 am
Fighting and displacement in the Waw Lay and Palu areas

Reports received by KHRG on December 13th 2010 indicate that villagers across a large geographic area of Kawkareik Township, Dooplaya District continue to face risks from ongoing conflict between the Tatmadaw and Karen armed groups in the area, and that temporary flight to more secure locations remains an important protection strategy for civilians. Fighting or displacement related to fighting was reported in and around Palu, Waw Lay, and Kyo G’Lee villages today, displacing an unknown number of civilians.

At 9 am on December 13th 2010, DKBA soldiers took positions between Palu and Min Let Bpaing villages in preparation for staging attacks on Tatmadaw soldiers currently based around Palu, according to a KHRG researcher who spoke with villagers in the area. Villagers told KHRG they were afraid that Tatmadaw forces would see the DKBA soldiers and fire mortars, and therefore did not dare to go to work in their fields, bean and corn plantations.

Further south in Waw Lay Village, local villagers told KHRG that DKBA soldiers began shelling Tatmadaw soldiers based in Waw Lay at approximately 1 pm on December 13th, and that by 1:20 pm more than 20 shells had landed in the area. According to the villagers that spoke with KHRG, some civilians staying inside Waw Lay village fled the shelling; civilians who were outside of Waw Lay, at agricultural projects and on the bank of the Moei River, were also reported to have fled. Villagers fled to both official and unofficial sites in the Waw Lay area of Thailand’s Phop Phra District. A local source estimated that there were just 50 people in an official RTA temporary camp on the morning of December 13th; relief workers indicated that by 3:45 pm there were 250 refugees in the same site, although it was estimated that only 50 of those were new arrivals. As of 10:45 pm on December 13th 2010, villagers continued to report mortars landing in the Waw Lay area. read all

Displacement Monitoring: Regular updates on protection concerns for villagers in Dooplaya District and Tak Province

KPC Demands Junta Officers Be Held Accountable for Killings


MAE SOT—The KNU/KNLA Peace Council (KPC), an armed ethnic cease-fire group, has demanded that Burmese officers responsible for the killing of six KPC soldiers be held responsible for the deaths.

“I met with Gen Htein Maung [chief of the KPC] today at our headquarters and he has demanded the soldiers involved be held accountable for their actions,” KPC spokesperson Timothy Laklem told The Irrawaddy on Monday evening.

Brig-Gen Tun Nay Lin, the commander of the junta’s Southeastern Regional Military Command, and Thant Zin, the commander of Infantry Battalion 230, should be tried before a “military tribunal” for ordering “the brutal torture and murder of prisoners of war,” said Laklem. Continue reading “KPC Demands Junta Officers Be Held Accountable for Killings”

UN reacts to death of jailed monk

The death last week of an elderly monk serving his twelfth year of a 20-year sentence has prompted a top UN official to call for the release of all political prisoners in Burma.

Ashin Nameinda (also known as U Myo Min) died on 8 December. He had been suffering mouth ulcers and thus was unable to eat, but according to the Thailand-based Assistance Association for Political Prisoners–Burma (AAPP), was not given adequate treatment.

The 50-year-old had been sentenced for distributing leaflets to encourage protests in September 1999, and becomes the 146th political prisoner to die in detention. Tomas Ojea Quintana, the UN’s special rapporteur for Burma, followed the news of Ashin Nameinda’s death and the release last month of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi with calls for the junta to release the remaining 2,200-plus political prisoners in Burma.

“One month after Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s release, I call upon the Government of Myanmar [Burma] to release the remaining prisoners of conscience, currently estimated to be at least 2,202, many of whom are right now suffering serious health problems from the harsh conditions of their detention,” he told AFP.

Around 142 of the imprisoned monks, activists, journalists, lawyers and politicians are in poor health, AAPP claim. Conditions inside Burma’s 44 prisons are notoriously poor, and inmates are regularly required to bribe prison doctors in order to receive treatment. Torture is widespread, particularly for political prisoners.

Despite recent elections that the ruling junta promised would usher in an era of civilian rule, there has been no suggestion that political prisoners will be released.

“A release would be a very strong signal that the new government of Myanmar intends to uphold these fundamental freedoms and would be welcomed by both people inside and outside the country.”

Despite the reverence with which Burma holds its monastic community, monks currently account for 256 of Burma’s 2,202 political prisoners. One monk, U Nanda Vathu, is serving a 71-year sentence, while nearly two dozen of those detained are serving sentences of 20 years or more.

Quintana, who has called for the UN to investigate possible war crimes and crimes against humanity

in Burma, was denied a visa to visit the country in August. UN chief Ban Ki-moon said shortly after that he was frustrated that the junta had been “unresponsive” to his attempts to trigger dialogue and engagement.