October 4, 2013

Burma Campaign UK today highlights the case of Thant Zin Htet as political prisoner of the month in our No Political Prisoner Left Behind campaign, and urged EU High Representative Catherine Ashton, who oversees the drafting the UN General Assembly Resolution on Burma, to include demands for action in the resolution which will help solve the problem of political prisoners once and for all.

Thant Zin Htet is a student activist from Burma who was arrested on 11th June 2013. He was arrested for his part promoting farmers’ rights and showing his support for farmers who were protesting on confiscated land. He is being detained in Paungde Prison and is currently on trial.

Burma Campaign UK urged Baroness Catherine Ashton to make the issue of political prisoners a main priority in the UN General Assembly Resolution on Burma, and to include the following demands in the resolution.

1) The resolution should call for the repealing or revising of all current repressive laws. Until it is completed, there should be a suspension of the application of repressive laws.

2) The resolution should call for a permanent and genuinely independent review mechanism, with the involvement of international experts, to assess cases where people were jailed unjustly and secure their immediate unconditional release.

3) The resolution should call for the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners in Burma.

4) The resolution should call for compensation, and government funding for rehabilitation programs should be provided for former political prisoners after their release.

“Cases like Thant Zin Htet show that the political prisoner issue must remain as a main priority when drafting the UN General Assembly Resolution on Burma,” said Wai Hnin, Campaigns Officer at Burma Campaign UK. “Just calling for the release of political prisoners is not good enough. This is the time to tackle the issue properly to make sure that not one political activist is left in Burma’s jails.”


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