As has been widely reported worldwide, in January the government of Burma released from prison over 600 detainees, around half of who were political prisoners. Many of these people the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) had issued appeals for in the last few years. Although we are very happy to see the release of these detainees, many others remain in custody. In this update we provide some details of released and still detained persons.
On 13 January 2012, the government of Burma announced an amnesty for 641 prisoners, among who were at least 287 political prisoners, according to a list compiled by the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma), based in Thailand, available for download here.
The AHRC has since been contacting with persons on whose behalf it has issued appeals to confirm releases. Among those released in the January amnesty and also in December from among persons for whom the AHRC has issued appeals previously are:
UP-121-2007: Dr Wint Thu and others UP-124-2007: Min Ko Naing and others UAC-048-2008: Ma Thanda UAC-052-2008: Ko Thiha UAC-083-2008: Ma Honey Oo & Aung Min Naing UAC-126-2008: Zarganar UAC-131-2008: U Ohn Than UAC-146-2008: Ko Htin Kyaw UAC-177-2008: Tin Htoo Aung and others UAC-200-2008: Win Maw UAC-204-2008: Nay Hpone Latt UAC-246-2008: Daw Win Mya Mya and others UAC-248-2008: U Gambira and others UAC-025-2009: Ne Lin Aung and others UAC-074-2009: U Tin Min Htut & U Nyi Pu UAC-110-2009: U Sandadhika UAC-125-2009: Nyi Nyi Aung and others UAC-004-2010: Kyaw Zaw Lwin UAC-011-2010: Dr Wint Thu and others UAC-023-2010: Ngwe Soe Linn UAC-038-2010: Maung Nyo & Ma Thanda Htun UAC-062-2010: Ma Hla Hla Win & Maung Myint Naing UAC-091-2010: U Gawthita UAC-108-2010: Than Myint Aung UAC-013-2011: Sithu Zeya & father UAC-077-2011: Kaung Myat Hlaing UAC-083-2011: Nay Myo Zin
We are very happy to hear of the release of these persons and thank you for your support for their cases. We are also happy to note that the government of Burma has acknowledged that those released were "prisoners of conscience", which marks a big change in language from the past, when the government denied the existence of any such prisoners.
However, other persons on whose behalf the AHRC has campaigned remain in prison. They include:
UAU-018-2009: U Myint Aye & others UAC-112-2010: Phyo Wai Aung UAC-005-2011: Kyaw Zelin and others UAC-028-2011: Aye Min Naing UAC-145-2011: Htun Oo and others UAC-227-2011: Than Zaw
All of the people in these six appeals have been accused of involvement in bombings for which the information available suggests that they are innocent. Myint Aye was the founder of Human Rights Defenders and Promoters, a local human rights group, and is a human rights defender who was arrested for speaking out over the conditions in the delta following Cyclone Nargis in 2008. He and his fellow accused the police tortured to confess.
Phyo Wai Aung was accused over the 2010 bombing of a traditional New Year festival. Although he has alibis and other evidence to prove his innocence, up to now the case is continuing against him in a closed court in the central prison. The AHRC has set up a special web page on his case: http://www.humanrights.asia/campaigns/phyo-wai-aung
Currently, human rights defenders in Burma are collecting information and issuing letters and appeals for the release of other prisoners of conscience who are still in detention. One list compiled by rights defenders in Rangoon is available online here: http://www.humanrights.asia/news/urgent-appeals/pdf/AHRC-UAU-004-2012.pdf
The AHRC is also receiving details of persons whom human rights defenders are appealing for their release. In the coming period we will issue appeals on some of these cases.
- Asian Human Rights Commission
- About AHRC: The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation monitoring and lobbying human rights issues in Asia. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984