Burma’s human rights record continued to deteriorate in 2009 ahead of announced
elections in 2010. The ruling State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) systematically denies citizens basic freedoms including freedom of expression, association, and assembly.
More than 2,100 political prisoners remain behind bars. This, and the politically-motivated arrest and trial of Aung San Suu Kyi only to send her back to house arrest for another 18 months, confirmed that Burma’s military rulers are unwilling to allow genuine political participation in the electoral process. The Burmese military continues to perpetrate violations against civilians in ethnic conflict areas, including extrajudicial killings, forced labor, and sexual violence.