Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Police ordered not to charge politicians in political cases

Sittwe (Narinjara): The police department in Arakan state has strict orders from the military junta authorities in Naypyidaw not to sue any politician on political cases (lawsuit) even if they are arrested on political grounds, said a police official.

“This is intended to send a message to the international community by the junta that Burma has no political prisoners, only criminals. This is the reason authorities do not want to bring political lawsuits against politicians.”

The junta has been persistent in its denial that Burma has no political prisoners whenever right groups and the international community have alleged that Burma has many political prisoners detained by the military regime.

“Recently we arrested some politicians and democracy activists in Arakan state for involvement in anti-junta activities but we charged them on other grounds like immigration cases, not political ones due to the order from higher ups,” he said.

The regime authorities arrested some activists including Ko Mrat Tun and Ko San Lwin recently in Arakan but they were charged under the immigration law even though they were involved in political activities.

After charging them under the immigration law, the courts sentenced them to five years in prison each.

Many Arakanese activists were arrested after the saffron revolution but they were charged with criminal cases, not for political activity.

This is the reason, many political prisoners are not being provided with political prisoner status and therefore deprived of the living standard in prison meant for politicians.

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