Burma Frees Select Political Prisoners,Yet the Vast Majority of Political Prisoners Remain Behind Bars – Human Rights Watch Org News

Family members of prisoners wait for their release in front of the Insein Prison gate in Yangon on October 12, 2011.

© 2011 Reuters

Comedian and former political prisoner Zargana was released from Myitkyina prison on October 12, 2011.

© Reuters 2011

The Burmese government yesterday freed at least 200 of its estimated 2,000 political prisoners. Officially, Burma denies having any such prisoners – but Human Rights Watch has worked hard to make sure these imprisoned activists weren’t forgotten. We held high-level meetings with UN and government officials visiting Burma, arming them with the evidence they used to pressure Burma into releasing these journalists, artists, and Buddhist monks.

Their release was part of a “humanitarian” amnesty of 6,359 prisoners. But Burma has made no move to repeal laws making it illegal to criticize the government.

We helped keep these jailed activists on the international agenda with our 2009 report, Burma’s Forgotten Prisoners, an important tool for reaching out to policymakers and the world’s media. Through our Behind Bars campaign, we distributed information about the people imprisoned – like the famed comedian Zargana, who criticized the government for refusing aid while tens of thousands died after Cyclone Nargis, or the labor activist Su Su Nway – both of whom were released today.

While freeing these prisoners was a positive first step, the rest of Burma’s political prisoners languish behind bars.

Take Action! Sign our petition and help us push the Burmese government to release the rest of these political prisoners.

Source: Human Rights Watch Org


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.