In an article for Mizzima News from Myanmar, Burma Campaign UK’s Director Mark Farmaner said history was made this Thingyan New Year, but it largely went unnoticed. For the first time in decades a prisoner amnesty was announced, but none of those released were political prisoners. Almost 200 political prisoners were left in jail, some of them convicted, some not even convicted, still awaiting trial. Keeping political prisoners in jail puts the NLD government in the same league as governments in countries like Iran, China, Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan.
National and international NGOs, including Burma Campaign UK, have issued a joint statement to mark the third anniversary of U Win Tin’s death. They call for the immediate release of all political prisoners and the establishment of an “independent and effective” prisoner review mechanism to bring about an end to arbitrary arrests and detentions.
Politicians and activists around the world wore blue shirts today to commemorate renowned journalist and politician U Win Tin and all political prisoners still held in Burma’s jails. The event this year falls on the three-year anniversary of U Win Tin’s death.
At the UN Security Council’s first ‘thematic’ debate on human rights this Tuesday, Burma rejoined the ranks of Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Syria as the USA’s least favourite human rights violators.
Anna Roberts, Executive Director and Doug Janke, Head of Development at Burma Campaign UK, at NASUWT’s conference in Manchester this weekend, with thanks to NASUWT for great support.
BCUK Director Mark Farmaner writes in Huffington Post: “Min Aung Hlaing is the biggest obstacle to improving human rights, democratic reform, peace, modernisation, and improving health and education in Burma.Yet somehow, he largely escapes direct criticism.”
“Unrecognised Leaders, Tomorrow’s Hope: Raising the Voices of Forgotten Youth” is a documentary film by Burma Link, the Karen Student Network Group and the Karen Youth Organisation. The documentary calls for inclusion of displaced ethnic youth on the Thailand-Burma border in political processes and recognition of refugee education certificates.
Aung San Suu Kyi has denied there is ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya Muslim minority, despite widespread reports of abuses.
In an exclusive interview with Fergal Keane of the BBC, Burma’s State Counsellor acknowledged problems in Rakhine state, but said ethnic cleansing was “too strong” a term to use.
Krishnan Guru-Murthy and director Karim Shah travelled to Burma to investigate whether its fledgling democracy is already under attack. Their report was shown on Channel 4 today.
Wai Hnin Pwint Thon, Campaigns Officer at Burma Campaign UK, spoke today on women’s rights at an event in Parliament hosted by Catherine West MP, Shadow Foreign Minister, to mark International Women’s Day.