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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2702

'Release all Prisoners of Conscience from Burma', urges Amnesty International

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent Asian Tribune

Washington, D.C. 24 October (Asiantribune.com): "The international community must maintain pressure and vigilance to ensure that the Myanmar authorities produce concrete actions and tangible results, such as the release of all prisoners of conscience. Such releases are also absolutely crucial in gauging how serious the Myanmar authorities are in terms of cooperating with the United Nations,” says Amnesty International issuing a statement urging the release of Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Amnesty further says that on this day when the United Nations is completing 62 years of its existence, the Burmese democracy leader has completed 12 years in house arrest.

Despite UN resolutions to ease its political and military grip from the affairs of Burma, the military junta continues with impunity because the support it has gained from India and China. The United States has been leading the campaign internationally to move the Burmese military junta towards the democracy path and obtain the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and other political leaders fro custody.

Following is the full text of the Amnesty International press statement release on Tuesday:

On the day the United Nations celebrates its 62nd birthday, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the National League of Democracy, will mark her 12th year under house arrest in Myanmar. Amnesty International calls for the immediate release of the thousands of people recently detained for participating in peaceful protests, as well as long-standing prisoners of conscience, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and U Win Tin. The organization also urges government officials to free senior opposition figures from ethnic minority groups, such as U Khun Htun Oo.

"Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is an iconic symbol of Myanmar's political resistance. Her unconditional release would be a significant step forward," said Irene Khan, Amnesty International secretary general.

"The international community must maintain pressure and vigilance to ensure that the Myanmar authorities produce concrete actions and tangible results, such as the release of all prisoners of conscience. Such releases are also absolutely crucial in gauging how serious the Myanmar authorities are in terms of cooperating with the United Nations."

The current secret detention of political prisoners, the widespread reports of ill-treatment and torture, and sentences in closed and grossly unfair trials behind prison walls make a mockery of the commitments made by the Myanmar authorities to cooperate with the United Nations. The United Nations Security Council has called for the early release of all political detainees in Myanmar.

"Human rights improvements in Myanmar cannot wait for the conclusion of a political process. The Myanmar authorities must immediately release all prisoners of conscience, open detention centers to independent observers and stop sentencing people who have only participated in peaceful protests," said Khan.

Human rights violations in Myanmar are widespread and systematic. Demonstrations emerged against the backdrop of persistent and massive human rights violations that have taken place before the current crisis.

Violations include the prolonged detention of over 1,150 political prisoners held in deteriorating prison conditions; the continued detention of senior opposition figures who are prisoners of conscience; extrajudicial executions; and the widespread use of torture.

There is also endemic suppression of freedom of expression throughout the country. The use of forced labor and child soldiers continue. There is evidence that military operations in eastern Kayin (Karen) state have involved acts against civilians that violate international humanitarian and human rights law. Independent observers and international human rights organizations continue to be denied access to many parts of the country.

-Asian Tribune -

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