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Burma’s Regime Does it Again: Political Prisoners Remain in Jail

By Altsean-Burma  •  October 14, 2011

On 12 October, Burma’s regime released 6,359 prisoners from jails across the country. However, only 220 political prisoners were among those released.

The regime’s routine mass releases of prisoners haven’t resulted in the release of significant numbers of political prisoners. Political prisoners have accounted for about 1% of the prisoners freed by the regime during mass amnesties.

The regime has continued to arbitrarily arrest and imprison political activists and journalists, even after the new regime led by former junta PM Thein Sein took office on 30 March 2011. In the past six months, the regime has arbitrarily detained or imprisoned at least five activists and media persons.

The 12 October mass amnesty saw the second largest number of political prisoners released by the regime (220) since 2004. The move came ahead of the planned 28 October fact-finding mission to Burma by Indonesian FM Marty Natalegawa and the ASEAN Summit in mid-November. During the Summit, ASEAN is expected to make a decision on whether to grant Burma the bloc’s Chair in 2014.

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This post is in: Political Prisoners, Spotlight

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