Burma Campaign UK today strongly urged Jeremy Browne MP, British Foreign Office Minister with responsibility for Burma, to pressure the military backed government to agree to the formation of a joint domestic and international board with the involvement of the UN, to investigate how many political prisoners remain in Burma’s jails.
Despite some positive changes in Burma, political prisoners are still left behind in jail with terrible conditions. To achieve peace and national reconciliation in Burma, the unconditional release of all the remaining political prisoners must take place.
To draw attention to the remaining political prisoners, Burma Campaign UK is highlighting the case of a different political prisoner every month. The political prisoner for this month is Shwe Htoo (aka) Aung Zeya, who was sent to prison for 42 years in 1998.
Shwe Htoo is a retired teacher. When he was arrested in 1998, he was charged with 3 different counts, including under the High Treason Act 124 (A), for his role in mobilising people to speak out for better system in the country. He had previously served 3 years in jail for his involvement in 1988 uprising. He is currently held in Taung Lay Lone Prison in Shan State. According to the latest news from his family, he is unwell and suffering from high blood pressure and gastric problems.
“Despite the talk of reform from President Thein Sein, he still keeps hundreds of political prisoners in jail,” said Anna Roberts, Executive Director at Burma Campaign UK. “We need a joint domestic and international board to be formed with the help of the UN to investigate how many activists in Burma remain in jail and secure their release.”
Burma Campaign UK supporters are being asked to write a letter to Foreign Minister Jeremy Browne 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. Solidarity letters can also be written and sent to Taung Lay Lone prison where Shwe Htoo is imprisoned.