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

Political Prisoner of the Month Brang Shawng Released

By Burma Campaign UK  •  July 24, 2013

Burma Campaign UK today welcomed the release of 73 political prisoners, including Brang Shawng, who was highlighted as a political prisoner of the month by Burma Campaign UK as part of the No Political Prisoner Left Behind campaign. Among the other political prisoners released are reported to include 29 Shan prisoners and 26 Kachin prisoners.

However, it is now two and a half years into Thein Sein’s reform process and there is still no end in sight on the issue of political prisoners. There has been a succession of prisoner releases but more activists continue to be arrested. While 73 political prisoners have been released this month, 70 activists and farmers were facing trial last month and 17 others sentenced.

“It’s welcome when political prisoners are released, but why is Thein Sein still keeping political prisoners in jail and why are new activists being arrested?” said Anna Roberts, Executive Director of Burma Campaign UK. “The issue of political prisoners is like a revolving door, as some political prisoners are released, new activists are arrested.”

The releases come shortly after Burma’s President Thein Sein visited the UK, when he repeated a past promise of releasing all political prisoners by the end of the year.

“If Thein Sein is serious about reform, he should stop using political prisoner releases to get good PR, unconditionally release all political prisoners and repeal the repressive laws that are being used to arrest and imprison activists,” said Anna Roberts.

Thein Sein has left almost every repressive law used to jail political prisoners in place. Almost all the releases of political prisoners have only been released conditionally, meaning that if they engage in political activities which the government does not like they can be put back in jail and have to serve a new prison term and their old prison term.

Brang Shawng was sentenced to two years in jail on 18th July 2013 and was highlighted in Burma Campaign UK’s No Political Prisoner Left Behind campaign. Brang Shawng is a 25-year-old Kachin farmer who was living in an Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp with his family after fleeing from conflict areas in the Northern part of Burma. He was brutally tortured during interrogation and has spent a year in detention.

For more information contact Anna Roberts on 07950 849 529

Tags: , , ,

This post is in: Press Release

Related Posts
Myanmar “Needs Urgently to Get Back on Track”
Myanmar: Prosecute Perpetrators, Not Human Rights Defenders Authorities Threaten Media & Critics for Implicating Military in Kachin Killings
Open Letter: To President Thein Sein
Innocent Civilians Remain in Burma’s Jails – Free Brang Shawng!