Burma Campaign UK today called for the immediate release of Tun Aung and all remaining political prisoners in Burma. Tun Aung is a 65-year-old medical doctor and a respected community leader who has been arrested and jailed for political reasons. He was sentenced to 3 years in prison under Section 24 (1) of The Foreign Exchange Regulation Act for having 100 Chinese Yuan in his wallet, which was given to him by his daughter as a present. He is suffering from a pituitary tumor and needs regular medication but he has been denied medical treatment.
He was arrested in June 2012 as part of the Burmese government’s efforts to arrest and detain Muslim community leaders to stop them from talking to international observers and journalists. He is also charged with six other different count including under The Myanmar Wireless Telegraphs Act for having a mobile phone with a SIM card from Bangladesh. He was transferred to Sittwe prison and his trial is still continuing for the remaining charges.
Burma Campaign UK is highlighting the case of a different political prisoner every month to draw attention to hundreds of political prisoners still in jail. The political prisoner for this month is Tun Aung.
The unconditional release of all political prisoners is an essential step to bring peace and reconciliation in Burma. A joint domestic and international board must be formed with the involvement of the UN to investigate how many political activists remain in jails and detention centres.
“It raises a very good question of why Thein Sein’s government is still arresting innocent civilians, if he is a genuine reformer”, said Wai Hnin Pwint Thon, Campaigns Officer from Burma Campaign UK. “It is extremely disappointing that Burma still has hundreds of political prisoners in jails. They must be released unconditionally.”
Burma Campaign UK supporters are being asked to write a letter to Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire asking him to pressure the military-backed government to allow the formation of a joint domestic and international board with the involvement of the UN to investigate the numbers of political prisoners remaining in Burma’s jails and secure their releases. Solidarity letters can also be written and sent to Sittwe prison where Tun Aung is imprisoned.