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Burma: Human Rights Defender Mr Wai Phyo Arrested for Organising a Campaign Calling for Freedom to Political Prisoners

By Frontline Defenders  •  July 16, 2013

On 12 July 2013, human rights defender Mr Wai Phyo was denied bail and will consequently remain in detention until his next court appearance on 25 July 2013.

Wai Phyo is Secretary of Generation Wave, a pro-democracy Burmese youth movement. He was arrested on 10 July for his participation in the “Free Political Prisoners” poster campaign, a nation-wide campaign organised by Generation Wave in July 2011 to call for the release of all political prisoners in Burma. Way Phyo was responsible for leading the action in the town of Pyay.

On 10 July 2013, at approximately 11.30am, Wai Phyo was arrested by the Chief of Pyay Township police station at the Sweet Golden Land hotel in Pyay, where the human rights defender had been running a workshop on sustainable development. Wai Phyo was brought to the Pyay Township court and the judge granted the police permission to detain the human rights defender for interrogation for two weeks.

Wai Phyo’s lawyer applied for bail but on 12 July 2013 the request was denied by the court and a new hearing was scheduled for 25 July 2013. Wai Phyo was subsequently brought to the Pyay Township police station, where he remains detained.

In July 2011, other members of Generation Wave, Messrs Zar Ni and Wai Phyo Aung, were also arrested for their participation in the “Free Political Prisoners” poster campaign. In February 2012, each of them received a sentence of three months imprisonment converted to a 30,000 Kyats fine (approximately 24 Euro). At the time, Wai Phyo managed to escape the arrest, and an arrest warrant was issued against him.

Front Line Defenders expresses serious concern at the arrest of Wai Phyo, and believes this to be solely motivated by his legitimate work to promote democracy in Burma. His arrest and detention are incompatible with the rights to freedom of association and expression, as guaranteed under international law.

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This post is in: Press Release

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