Burmese overseas protesters arrested on return to Burma

Oct 18, 2007 (DVB), Burmese nationals returning from overseas are being arrested by government officials on their arrival at Rangoon airport if they are suspected of having participated in anti-government protests while they were away.

Following the government's brutal crackdown on demonstrations in Burma, protests were held around the world to show support for those killed and arrested. Many Burmese nationals who were abroad at the time joined in protests outside Burmese embassies.

According to Rangoon airport employees, government officials have lists and photos of people who joined protests in front of Burmese embassies abroad and are checking every Burmese passport holder who comes through the airport and taking some of them into custody for questioning.

"Recently, we saw them arrest two people; one from Tamwe and another from San Chaung township, at the airport arrival gates. They are checking everyone’s faces against the photos," said a Rangoon airport employee.

Additional sources told DVB that some people who were taken into custody were released after about three days of questioning while those who were confirmed to have been involved in protests were beaten up and sent directly to Insein prison.

Reporting by Maung Too

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