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Myanmar National Human Rights Council Urged to Free Aung Soe

By Burma Campaign UK  •  January 18, 2014

Burma Campaign UK today urged U Win Mra, the Chairman of the Myanmar National Human Rights Council to call for the establishment of a permanent review mechanism for political prisoners, and the immediate release of Aung Soe and all remaining political prisoners in Burma.

Aung Soe is a member of Yangon People’s Support Network. He has been arrested numerous times for his peaceful activities. On 18th May 2014, he was arrested for his involvement in protests in Mandalay against land grabbing. The protest centred on land confiscated by the Burmese military and private companies two decades ago.

He was charged with three different counts including under Article 145 for “Joining or continuing in unlawful assembly, knowing it has been commanded to disperse.” He was also charged under Section 505 (b) of Burma’s Penal Code. On 6th August 2014, Aung Soe was sentenced to three years and six months and he is serving his prison sentence in Obo Prison, Mandalay.

The military-backed government is disbanding the existing political prisoner review committee to create a new one. To make this review process credible, there are key issues which need to be addressed. The unconditional release of all political prisoners is a first essential step towards peace and national reconciliation. There should be a permanent independent political prisoner review mechanism involving international expertise in Burma.

“Aung Soe’s case is proof that the reform process in Burma is backsliding, and more activists are getting arrested for speaking out,” said Anna Roberts, Executive Director at Burma Campaign UK. “Activists in Burma continue to live in fear of arrest, torture and harassment by the military-backed government. A credible review mechanism is crucial to ensure that no political prisoners are left behind bars.”

For more information contact Anna Roberts on 07950849529.

Notes: Please find the details of a proposed credible review mechanism here:
http://burmacampaign.org.uk/no-end-in-sight-for-political-prisoners-in-burma-permanent-review-mechanism-needed/

The action to free Aung Soe is here:
https://action.burmacampaign.org.uk/take-action-free-aung-soe

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This post is in: Press Release

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