Burma Partnership, Strengthening Cooperation for a Free Burma
Signup Now!
Join our mailing list for latest news and information about Burma.

Monthly Chronology of Burma’s Political Prisoners in Burma – May 2010

By Assistance Association for Political Prisoners - Burma  •  June 7, 2010

Summary of current situation

There are a total of 2,157 political prisoners in Burma. This is an overall decrease of 42 in comparison to last month’s figure of 2,199 . In May 3 activists were arrested, 2 sentenced and 1 political prisoners was released.
Since the protests in August 2007 leading to September’s Saffron Revolution, a total of 1,159 activists have been arrested and are still in detention.

Monthly Trend Analysis

During the month of May 2010, at least 3 activists were arrested, 2 were sentenced and 1 was released. At least 137 political prisoners are in poor health due to the harsh prison conditions, transfers to remote prisons where there are no doctors, and the denial of proper medical care. There was 1 death this month, bringing the recorded number of political prisoner deaths to 144, since 1988.

This month saw the legal dissolution of the National League for Democracy (NLD). The disbandment of the NLD followed a high court rejection of the lawsuit appeal against the controversial election laws that exclude Daw Aung Suu Kyi from participating in the coming national elections. After 20 years as the leading opposition party, the doors of the NLD office officially closed on the 6th of May; however, some brave members turned up to work the following day. The dissolution led former members to register another party in the hope that this provides them with an option to run in the coming elections.

International outcry over the upcoming election reached a peak following the dissolution of the NLD. The European Union, United Kingdom, United States, and United Nations each issued strong statements calling for Burma to change pre-election conditions, and questioned the possibility of internationally legitimate elections in the current environment. Unofficial SPDC rejection of international election observers led to further criticism. In addition to concern over election legitimacy, the international community expressed deep concern over the possibility that North Korea may have delivered nuclear weapons to the Burmese junta in April. In May, the United Sates extended sanctions against Burma for a further year.

The bomb blasts in Myitkyina and Rangoon during April significantly affected locals, particularly in Myitkyina where there have been unconfirmed arrests, interrogations and torture of up to 70 youths. Leaders of regional organizations blamed for the bombing have left the area fearing for their safety. Although the junta made only one arrest in Rangoon, it has positioned itself to make further arrests in conjunction with the bombings by linking the arrested suspect with numerous organizations. The AAPP expresses concern that in response to last month’s bombings, the junta is set to add anti-terror laws to the sweeping legislation already used to arbitrarily arrest activists and opposition members and put them behind bars.

This month saw the death of Ko Kyaw Soe who passed away in Myingyan Prison on the morning of 19 May 2010 at age 39. He was the 144th political prisoner to die of malnutrition, maltreatment and inadequate medical care in a Burmese prison since 1988.

Download the report.

Tags: ,

This post is in: Political Prisoners, Resources

Related Posts
AAPP calls for adequate healthcare for political prisoners in Burma
Justice for the Killing of Journalist by Burma Army Must be Found
AAPP’s Statement Regarding the Death of Freelance Journalist Aung Kyaw Naing, aka Par Gyi
AAPP (B) Submission to the UN General Assembly
“Winds of Change” Blow a Gale of Human Rights Abuses