October 25, 2016

Summary of the Current Situation:

There are 205 political prisoners in Burma.

86 are currently serving prison sentences, 35 are awaiting trial inside prison, 84 are awaiting trial outside prison.

MONTH IN REVIEW

This month, one person was arrested and one was sentenced but immediately released. Three incarcerated political prisoners are reported to be in bad health.

Restrictions on media and civil and political liberties have continued throughout September. Two news journals, The Voice Weekly and Envoy, have been indefinitely suspended for failing to send articles to the censorship board for approval before publication. Journalist Aung Lwin has been charged with defamation under Section 500 of the Penal Code for having published an essay about the environmental problems caused by mining waste. On September 15, Yar Pyae, a social and political activist, was prosecuted under Article 66/d of the Telecommunication Law by the Hmawbe Court, Rangoon, for having written a defamatory post.

Clashes in ethnic areas between the Burma Army and different ethnic armed groups continued throughout September, leading to significant human rights violations.

September also saw some promising advancements in the human rights context. The Upper House, following the Lower House‟s commitment, has passed a bill repealing the Emergency Provisions Act, an outdated and repressive law used to suppress dissidents. And on September 15, the seven soldiers involved in the murder of five civilians in Mong Yaw village in June 2016, were sentenced to five years imprisonment with hard labor by a court martial in Lashio Township, Shan State.

Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma)

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