November 1, 2013

Burma Campaign UK today urged President Thein Sein to immediately release Bauk Ja and all remaining political prisoners unconditionally. Burma Campaign UK today highlighted Bauk Ja as political prisoner of the month as part of the No Political Prisoner Left Behind Campaign.

A Kachin activist, Bauk Ja, has been arrested on false charges and she is now being detained in Hpakant Township, Karmine ward. She is a member of the National Democratic Force (NDF) political party, and a campaigner for farmers’ rights and land rights. She has been charged with three different counts and is now facing trial. The charges are clearly politically motivated because of her campaigning activities.

Thein Sein is urged to take the following action to solve the problem of political prisoners once and for all:

1.  All political prisoners should be released immediately and unconditionally.

2.  All repressive laws should be repealed or revised. Until then, there should be a suspension of the application of repressive laws.

3.  A permanent and genuinely independent review mechanism with the involvement of international experts should be in place to investigate cases where people were jailed unjustly, and secure their immediate, unconditional release.

4.  Compensation and rehabilitation programs should be provided for former political prisoners after their release.

5.  Criminal records, which all former political prisoners have, should be removed and they should be allowed to continue their studies and their previous careers without restrictions.

6.  There should be some form of justice, accountability and reconciliation. Apologies should be provided to the activists who were wrongly jailed.

“It has been two years since Thein Sein became president and he has never admitted that political prisoners should not have been jailed, and has never apologised,” said Wai Hnin, Campaigns Officer at Burma Campaign UK. “It is now time Thein Sein released all political prisoners unconditionally, and provided apologies and compensation that they deserve.”


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