May 15, 2012

Burma Campaign UK today urged Jeremy Browne MP, British Foreign Office Minister with responsibility for Burma, to push the military-backed government in Burma to investigate the numbers of remaining political prisoners in Burma.

The unconditional release of all political prisoners is an essential step towards genuine democracy and freedom in Burma. Regardless of the changes in Burma, all the repressive laws, which enabled the jailing of political prisoners, still remain in place. A joint domestic and international board must be formed with the involvement of the UN to investigate how many political prisoners remain in Burma’s jails.

To remember those who still remain in jail, Burma Campaign UK is highlighting the case of a different political prisoner every month. This month, May, the political prisoner who Burma Campaign UK is highlighting is Aye Aung, who was sent to prison for 59 years in 1998 for his part distributing leaflets and taking part in peaceful demonstrations asking for education policies in Burma.

Aye Aung is a 36-year-old student who was studying Physics in Dagon University in Rangoon. He was a member of the Reform Committee of Dagon University Students’ Union. He was actively involved in motivating students in Burma for their rights and education practices in the country. He was one of the students who took part in the 1996 student uprising and 1998 student movement in Burma. He was arrested in 1998 and charged with five different counts, including Sate Emergency and Provision Act 5(j).

“Jeremy Browne and the UK government should push for investigating the exact numbers of remaining political prisoners in Burma,” said Wai Hnin, Campaigns Officer at Burma Campaign UK. “If president Thein Sein is a genuine reformer, he will have no problem of investigating how many democracy activists remain in jails. Peace and national reconciliation cannot be achieved in Burma until the day we see every single activist walk free from jail.”

Burma Campaign UK supporters are being asked to write a letter to Foreign Minister Jeremy Browne asking him to take action to secure the release of Aye Aung and for the release of all of Burma’s remaining political prisoners.

Solidarity letters can also be written and sent to Kale prison where Aye Aung is imprisoned.

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