Human Rights Watch: Dead Men Walking:Convict Porters on the Front Lines in Eastern Burma, 12 July 2011
70 page report focuses on the use of prisoners as porters for the military. Interviews with escaped porters reveal the dangers of

Burmese army mortar rounds and landmines carried by convict porters, photo: KHRG/HRW

antipersonnel mines for persons seized for forced labor as military porters- either from the civilian population or from the prisons. The report contains first hand accounts of prison porters who suffered injury due to mines or of prison porters who witnessed other porters injured or killed by mines.

The report notes that prison porters are, “.. used as “human shields,” put in
front of columns of troops facing ambush or sent first down mined roads or trails, the latter
practice known as “atrocity demining.”

Human Rights Watch concludes that Burma’s forcible recruitment and mistreatment of convicts as uncompensated porters in conflict areas are grave violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law. Abuses include murder, torture, and the use of porters as human shields. Those responsible for ordering or participating in such mistreatment should be prosecuted for war crimes. The report calls for the establishment of a United Nations Commission of Inquiry on these and other human rights crimes within the country.

http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/burma0711_OnlineVersion.pdf

 
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