Diplomats and international human rights groups have expressed concern for the three journalists arrested on Monday in Shan State. Mark Farmaner, Director of Burma Campaign UK, told the Democratic Voice of Burma: “Min Aung Hlaing must immediately release the seven people, including the three journalists, who he has detained. With hundreds of thousands of soldiers at his command, why is he so afraid of three journalists and what they will report?”
A shocking new report by Amnesty International into ongoing human rights violations in Kachin State and northern Shan State describes many of them as war crimes, the vast majority committed by the Burmese Army. Writing for the Huffington Post, Mark Farmaner, Director of Burma Campaign UK, calls on the British government to end its free training to the Burmese military.
Aye Naing and Pyae Bone Naing from the Democratic Voice of Burma and Lawi Weng from the Irrawaddy were arrested by the Burmese army on 26 June. Download the poster below and send it to Min Aung Hlaing on Facebook:
At the UNISON trade union conference this week, Burma Campaign UK is asking trade union members to support the campaign to repeal repressive laws in Burma.
Doug Janke, Head of Development, on BCUK’s stall
Peace activists Ma Pwint Phyu Latt and Ko Zaw Zaw Latt were among 259 prisoners released from jail today, following a presidential amnesty announced to coincide with the opening of fresh peace talks in Nay Pyi Taw.
Burma Campaign UK has campaigned for their release and calls for the release of all political prisoners. Like the last government, the NLD government has released very few political prisoners – only 10 of the 259, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.
A new report documents physical evidence of atrocities committed against the Rohingya by the Burmese Army. “Burned, Stabbed and Shot – Physical Evidence of Atrocities Committed against the Rohingya” is published by the Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK.
Mark Farmaner, Director of Burma Campaign UK, writing for the Democratic Voice of Burma, calls for a transparent policy from the NLD-led government about how it operates the visa ban list: “A year into the NLD government’s term in office, there is no excuse for still banning human rights and democracy activists from their own country simply because someone in power didn’t like what they said or did.”
As Aung San Suu Kyi tours Europe this week, she faces criticism for being unable to bring all ethnic armed groups together for peace negotiations in Burma, and for publicly announcing she would not “take sides” in the conflict in Rakhine State.
Zoya Phan, campaign manager for Burma Campaign UK, told the Irrawaddy “Europe needs to change the way it has been supporting the peace process, as it is very one-sided, working mainly with the government and following their agenda”.
As Min Aung Hlaing returns from his visit to Europe, the Washington Post reports that Burma Campaign UK condemned the governments of Germany and Austria for inviting him.
The Post quotes Burma Campaign UK’s statement: “Min Aung Hlaing is the biggest obstacle to improving human rights, democratic reform, peace, modernisation, and improving health and education in Burma.”
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.