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Burma’s Political Prisoners - Joint Statement on the visit of Bo Kyi in Brussels.

Burma’s Political Prisoners

On the visit of Bo Kyi, former political prisoner and Joint-Secretary of the
Assistance Association for Political Prisoners-Burma to Brussels, the above
organisations appeal to the European Union and Member States to strengthen
their call to the Burmese authorities to immediately and unconditionally:

- release all political prisoners who remain detained and tortured in Burmese

- and allow:

o the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) unimpeded
access to all prisons in the country without interference from the
State authorities; and
o the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Burma
to investigate the detention conditions in Burmese prisons.

Despite repeated calls by the international community, including the United
Nations, the EU, ASEAN and the Burmese democracy movement, the “new
government” established after the recent flawed electoral process continues to
refuse to release almost 2,000 political prisoners held in Burmese prisons.
Their immediate and unconditional release is one of the key benchmarks necessary for
genuine national reconciliation to take place.

The newly appointed president, former general Thein Sein, continues to deny the
existence of political prisoners. The prisoner “amnesty” issued by the
government on 16 May was a cosmetic manoeuvre.
By reducing sentences by one year, commuting the death penalty to life imprisonment and releasing 58
prisoners of conscience with less than a year left to serve, the amnesty had no
impact on the vast majority of political prisoners serving long and completely
unjust sentences.

As stated by Bo Kyi, “since the political prisoners have committed no crime, they
don't request an amnesty. They deserve an unconditional release, as their
detention is not based on any legal grounds."

There has been no change to imprisonment policies in the country. In late May, a
hunger strike in Insein Prison by at least 22 political prisoners, including seven
women, to demand better treatment and protection of their rights was met with
brutality. Seven of the prisoners were placed in solitary confinement and were
denied family visits.

Torture is routinely used as punishment and to force confessions in places of
detention. Authorities deliberately aggravate prison conditions and deny medical
care, causing a level of suffering amounting to torture. Since 1988, 146 political
activists have died in custody as a direct result of severe torture or from the
denial of food and medical treatment.

The conditions in prisons and the treatment of prisoners fall far short of the UN
Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners and show how the
Burmese government’s acceptance of the UN’s Universal Periodic Review
recommendation for improving the conditions in all prisons and compliance with
international standards was insincere.

The systematic and widespread imprisonment, mistreatment and torture of
individuals on political grounds are defined under international law as crimes
against humanity and as such their investigation should be included in the
mandate of any future UN Commission of Inquiry into possible war crimes and
crimes against humanity.

The EU and its Member States have a vital role to play in exposing cosmetic
changes and insincere pledges by the Burmese authorities, and in supporting
international investigations into widespread State practice that could equate to
crimes against humanity.

Brussels, 17 June 2011

Burma political prisoners Brussels NGOs statement 17.06.11.pdf


Visite de Bo Kyi à Bruxelles

Bo Kyi, un ancien prisonnier politique birman, maintes fois récompensé pour son action à la tête de l'AAPPB (Association d'assistance aux prisonniers politiques – Burma), sera l’invité d’Actions Birmanie du 13 au 15 juin prochain. Dans le cadre de ce séjour à Bruxelles, Bo Kyi et Actions Birmanie rencontreront des élus du Parlement européen, des élus de la Chambre des représentants et du Sénat, des membres du Ministère des Affaires étrangères ainsi que des représentants de plusieurs ONG internationales (Amnesty, FIDH, etc.).

Bo Kyi sera également à l’honneur, ce 24 mai 2011, lors de la projection au Parlement européen du film de Jeanne Hallacy Into the Current – Burma’s political prisoner dans le cadre du festival One World.

Plus d’informations :


Actions Birmanie dénonce la récente amnistie en Birmanie


Actions Birmanie dénonce l’« amnistie » annoncée le 16 mai 2011 par le président birman récemment promu, Thein Sein.

Dans le cadre de cette soi-disant « amnistie générale », seulement 55 prisonniers politiques ont été libérés dont la plupart d’entre eux, condamnés à des peines entre 2 et 5 ans de prison, étaient en fin de peine.

Au 16 mai 2011, l’AAPPB, l’Association d'assistance aux prisonniers politiques birmans, recensait 2061 prisonniers politiques. Au lendemain de cette prétendue « amnistie » destinée à contenter la communauté internationale, plus de 2000 prisonniers politiques sont toujours détenus dans les geôles birmanes. Plusieurs d’entre eux viennent d’entamer une grève de la faim en vue dénoncer les conditions de détention effroyables auxquelles ils sont soumis.

En déniant l’existence de ces prisonniers politiques, le nouveau gouvernement birman démontre une fois de plus sa mauvaise foi ainsi que son refus d’engager une véritable réforme démocratique respectueuse des droits humains élémentaires.

Actions Birmanie appelle le gouvernement belge et l’Union européenne à condamner cette « amnistie » et à intensifier la pression sur le gouvernement birman pour qu’il libère immédiatement et inconditionnellement tous les prisonniers politiques actuellement détenus.