Summary of the Current Situation:
There are 285 political prisoners incarcerated in Burma.
83 are currently serving prison sentences.
35 are awaiting trial inside of prison, and
167 are awaiting trial outside of prison.
Month in Review
This month 129 sentences were handed down for political reasons, including fines given to 105 farmers for staging a plowing protest. Four political prisoners were released from prison, and a further 110 people, including the aforementioned farmers completed their sentence or had cases against them dropped. One person was arrested, two political prisoners are reported to be in bad health and trespassing charges were brought against 131 farmers.
Charges and sentences under repressive legislation continue to be handed down at the expensive of activists, farmers and ethnic minorities. Land activists and farmers continue to fight the authorities over disputed land, and have been slapped with trespassing charges under Article 447 of the Penal Code as a result. On July 13, the 15 laborers and students currently facing trial in detention for their involvement in the Sagaing labor rights protests were they were sentenced for contempt of court. They boycotted their hearings for the fifth time on July 27, as they feel they do not receive adequate legal protection. The Unlawful Association Act continues to be a tool for the arrest, detention and sentencing of civilians accused of being part of unrecognized organizations and ethnic armed groups.