A report by the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP)
As Burma emerges from decades of authoritarian rule and international isolation, the issue of humanrights and human rights abuses has been of large concern to many actors involved. Holding those accountablefor crimes committed in the past has been at the forefront for many observers. However, Burma must also takesteps toward ensuring that the opportunity for such abuse is removed and cannot be repeated in the future.
Prisons are one such place where abuses are particularly likely to occur. They are hidden from thepublic eye, and prisoners are shown little sympathy by the general public. This creates an environment of
increased impunity, which in turn leads to the violation of basic human rights for many individuals. This is truefor both political prisoners and criminal prisoners alike. Reforming the prison system, although perhaps not politically expedient, is therefore crucial to eliminating human rights violations.
This paper, therefore, is a preliminary assessment of the potential for such a reform in Burma. The researchis ongoing and will hopefully provide a valuable resource for other individuals and organizations interested inthe penal system in Burma and its reform. It is meant as a foundation from which to work from and build upon.