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Mar-12-2014 18:16printcomments

Thein Sein Lied - Political Prisoners are Still in Jail

We need the British government to apply pressure on the government of Burma to agree to the setting up of a permanent independent political prisoner review committee.

Thein Sein, the President of Burma
Thein Sein, the President of Burma

(LONDON) - When Thein Sein, the President of Burma, made his controversial visit to the UK in 2013, he promised to release all political prisoners by the end of 2013.

His promise gained him positive headlines all over the world, and earned him praise from the British government. At the end of 2013 he did release some political prisoners, and again got more positive headlines in the media.

But he also decided to leave many political prisoners in jail. There are still hundreds of people in jail in Burma because of their political beliefs, religion or ethnicity, and many more who didn’t get fair trials and may be in jail for political reasons. And activists are still being arrested.

It’s time to end the game Thein Sein plays with political prisoners. Releasing some to get positive publicity, while arresting others to try to intimidate people who disagree with the government.

Burma Campaign UK is calling for a permanent independent political prisoner review committee to be set up in Burma. The committee would have the power to investigate all cases where a person may be in jail because of their political activities, religion, or ethnicity, and order their release. The committee should also make recommendations on which laws need to be repealed so that these people are not arrested and jailed in the first place.

Please email Foreign Secretary William Hague asking him to support a permanent independent political prisoner review committee in Burma.

Thein Sein made his promise to release all political prisoners because he was under pressure to do so. Campaigning was working. International pressure was working. But once he made the promise, the international community relaxed the pressure.

We need the British government to apply pressure on the government of Burma to agree to the setting up of a permanent independent political prisoner review committee.

Take action now. Don’t let any political prisoner be left behind and forgotten in Burma’s jails.  Send an email to William Hague here.

Thank you.

Wai Hnin

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