Sunday, September 20, 2009

At least 104 political prisoners released

(Mae Sot – Thailand) -The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma) (AAPP) can confirm that so far 104 political prisoners have been released from 22 different prisons in Burma.

The 104 released include 37 members of the National League for Democracy, including 3 MPs; 18 women; 11 former political prisoners; 4 monks; 4 journalists; 9 members of the Human Rights Defenders and Promoters Network; 6 members of the 88 Generation Students; and 1 lawyer.

On the evening of September 17, 2009 in Rangoon, state-run MRTV carried a news bulletin announcing that 7,114 prisoners were to be released “on humanitarian grounds.”

The list of political prisoners released will be continually updated at our web site as AAPP receives more information. In alphabetical order:

1. Angaelay (Mandalay prison) - student
2. Aung Gyi (Insein prison) - student
3. Aung Gyi @ Aung Thwin (Shwebo prison) – journalist, former political prisoner, 88 Generation Students
4. Aung Ko Oo (Tharawaddy prison) - student
5. Aung Lwin (Thandwe prison)
6. Aung Myint (Myaungmya prison) - NLD member; Human Rights Defenders and Promoters member
7. Aung Myo (Shwebo prison) – NLD Township Organiser
8. Aung Naing (Insein prison) – NLD member
9. Aung Swe (Shwebo prison) - NLD member
10. Aung Tun (Tharawaddy prison) – student; member of the All Burma Federation of Student Unions
11. Aye Min (a) Aye Min Min (Tharawaddy prison) – private tutor
12. Ba Chit (Tharawaddy prison) – Ex-captain in the army
13. Ba Min (Kale prison) – NLD member
14. Bo Bo (Myingyan prison)
15. Bo Gyi (Pegu prison)
16. Cho Mar Htwe, (Female) (Moulmein prison) – NLD member
17. Eimt Khaing Oo, Female (Insein prison) – journalist; Cyclone Nargis volunteer
18. Hlaing Aye (Kale prison) - NLD MP, Former Political Prisoner
19. Hla Shein, (Hinzada prison) , Human Rights Defenders and Promoters
20. Htay Win (Thayet prison) – NLD Township Organizer
21. Khaing Kaung Zan, (Thayet prison) – Arakan League for Democracy in exile member
22. Khin Khin Lay (a) Khin Lay, (Female) (Pegu prison) – NLD member
23. Khin Maung Chit (Meiktila prison) - NLD Local Secretary
24. Khin Maung Thein (Shwebo prison) – NLD member
25. Khin Moe Aye (a) Moe Moe (Female), (Myingyan prison) – 88 Generation Students member; former political prisoner
26. Kyaw Kyaw Thant (Insein prison) – journalist; Cyclone Nargis volunteer
27. Kyaw Lwin, (Hinzada prison) , Human Rights Defenders and Promoters
28. Kyaw Maung (Myitkyina prison) – NLD MP
29. Kyaw Thu Htike (Taunggyi prison)
30. Kyaw Win (Tharawaddy prison) – All Burma Students Democratic Front
31. Kyi Kyi Min, (Female) (Insein prison) – NLD member
32. Kyi Lin (Myintkyina prison) – NLD member
33. Ma Ei (female) (Paungde prison)
34. Ma Htay (a) San San Myint, (Female) (Insein prison)
35. Ma Mi Mi Swe (female) (Henzada prison)
36. Maung Maung Htwe (Shwebo prison)
37. Maw Si (Shwebo prison) – NLD Youth member
38. Mi Mi Sein, (Female) (Insein prison) – NLD Township Joint-Secretary
39. Michael Win Kyaw (Kale prison) – 88 Generation Students member; former political prisoner
40. Min Min (a) La Min Tun, (Hinzada prison) , Human Rights Defenders and Promoters
41. Min Min Soe (Myingyan prison) – 88 Generation Students member
42. Moe Hlaing (Moulmein prison)
43. Moe Kyaw Thu (a) Bo Bo (Mandalay prison)
44. Moe Lwin (Moulmein prison) – individual activist
45. Monywar Aung Shin (a) U Aye Kyu (Insein prison) - Member of NLD and poet
46. Mya Sein, (Hinzada prison) , Human Rights Defenders and Promoters
47. Myint Oo (a) Ni Ni (Mandalay prison) – NLD Township organizer; former political prisoner
48. Myint Oo (Thayet prison) – NLD Township Joint Secretary
49. Myo Min Lwin (Moulmein prison)
50. Myo Yan Naung Thein (Thandwe prison) – 88 Generation Students member, former political prisoner
51. Nay Win (Myintkyina prison) – NLD Township Organizer
52. Nine Nine (Insein prison) – NLD MP, Former Political Prisoner
53. Nu Nu Swe @ Pauk Pauk (female) (Myaungmya prison)
54. Nyi Nyi Min (Buthidaung prison) – NLD member
55. Nyo Mya (Kale prison) – NLD member
56. Pe Tin (Pegu prison) – NLD member
57. Pyae Phyo Aung (a) Hnan Mue (Pa-An prison)
58. San Pwint (Kale prison) – NLD member; teacher
59. San Ya (Tharawaddy prison) – NLD member
60. Sandar Min (a) Shwee, (Myaungmya prison) – 88 Generation Students, Former Political Prisoner
61. Sandar, (Female) (Myingyan prison) – NLD member
62. Saw Myo Min Hlaing @ James (Thaton prison) - Private Tutor
63. Saw Taw Kyi (Thayet prison) – Karen National Union member
64. Shin Sandaw Batha, Monk (Insein prison) – All Burma Monks’ Alliance
65. Shwe Thar (a) Tin Win (Tharawaddy prison) – Karen National Union member
66. Soe Han (Lashio prison) – lawyer; Chair of the National League for Democracy’s (NLD) legal advisory body
67. Soe Wai (a) Than Zaw (Myitkyina prison)
68. Than Min (a) Tin Tun Aung, (Taungoo prison) – NLD member
69. Than Than Htay, (Female) (Insein prison) – student
70. Than Than Sint, (Female) (Insein prison)
71. Than Tun (Shwebo prison)
72. Than Zaw Oo (Tharawaddy prison) – NLD member
73. Thar Cho, (Thayet prison) – NLD Township Organizer
74. Thein Zaw (Tharawaddy prison)
75. Thet Oo (Taungoo prison) – Human Rights Defenders and Promoters member
76. Thet Zin (a) Maung Zin (Kale prison) – journalist; former political prisoner; member of the All Burma Federation of Student Unions and the Democratic Party for a New Society
77. Thin Min Soe, (Female) (Insein prison) – labour activist
78. Thura Win @ Thura Lin (Buthidaung) – Student
79. Tin Mar Swe (female) (Mandalay prison)
80. Tin Maung Nyunt (Shwebo prison) – NLD Township Organiser
81. Tin Mya (Insein prison) - National League for Democracy Township chairperson, Former Political Prisoner
82. Tin Myint (Insein prison) – NLD member
83. Tin Myint (Tharawaddy prison)
84. Tin Myo Htut (a) Kyaw Oo (Insein prison) – Generation Wave; former political prisoner
85. Tin Tin Myint, (Female) (Insein prison) – third year chemistry student
86. Tin Tun (a) Kyaw Swa (Tharawaddy prison) – UN Development Program staff (New Era journal distributor)
87. Tun Hla (Tharawaddy prison)
88. Tun Oo (a) Ngar Kalar (Taungoo prison)
89. Tun Tun Nyein, (Thayet prison) – NLD Youth member
90. Tun Tun Oo (a) Nanda Malar (Taungoo prison) – monk
91. Tun Tun Oo (Thandwe prison)
92. U Han Sein (Tharawaddy prison) – NLD member
93. U Myint, (Hinzada prison) , Human Rights Defenders and Promoters
94. U Pannita (a) Myint Aye (Taungoo prison) – monk; Human Rights Defenders and Promoters member
95. U Peter (Loikaw prison)
96. U Win, (Hinzada prison) , Human Rights Defenders and Promoters
97. U Zawana (a) Soe Myint (Taungoo prison) - monk
98. Win Myint (Insein prison)
99. Wunna Soe (Pa-An prison) – Democratic Party for a New Society member
100. Yan Aung Shwe (Thayet prison) – All Burma Students Democratic Front member
101. Yan Naing Min (a) Nan Wai (Mandalay prison) – student
102. Zaw Htet Aung (Kale prison) - student
103. Zaw Tun (Taungoo prison)
104. Zin Mar Aung (female) (Mandalay prison) – student; NLD member


For media interviews please contact:

Tate Naing, AAPP Secretary +66(0)89-899-7161
Bo Kyi, AAPP Joint-Secretary +66(0)81-324-8935
19 September 2009 18:45 Thailand Standard Time

Burma Newscasts - At least 104 political prisoners released
as at 19 September 2009

READ MORE---> At least 104 political prisoners released...

Don’t Let the Junta off the Hook

The Irrawaddy News - Editorial

On the eve of the 21st anniversary of the bloody coup that crushed the 1988 student-led pro-democracy uprising, Burma’s junta announced plans to free 7,114 prisoners. MRTV, the state-owned television station, announced on Thursday night that the prisoners were being released on “humanitarian grounds.”

Previous mass releases have mostly involved petty criminals, with just a handful of political detainees among those freed. No details were provided about the identities of the prisoners included in this latest amnesty, so it is difficult to even confirm if the regime has actually released the number of prisoners it said it would. But according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), 87 political prisoners have so far been set free, while other sources estimate that the total could reach as high as 250.

This is good news for the prisoners and their families, and we should welcome it. However, we should also note that this apparent act of magnanimity comes as Prime Minister Gen Thein Sein prepares to travel to New York to attend this year’s United Nations General Assembly. Indeed, it has been widely expected for several months. In July, Burma’s ambassador to the UN, Than Swe, promised the Security Council that his government would grant an amnesty to an undisclosed number of political prisoners to allow them to participate in democratic elections scheduled for 2010.

Thein Sein will be the highest-ranking Burmese official to attend a UN meeting in over a decade, so it should come as no surprise that the regime decided to do something to deflect criticism of its abysmal human rights record ahead of his visit. Releasing some of the country’s estimated 2,100 political prisoners was an obvious course of action, as there are growing concerns over the dramatic increase in the number of activists detained since the monk-led Saffron Revolution was crushed almost exactly two years ago. Human rights watchdogs estimate that the political prisoner population has doubled since late 2007, when Burma witnessed its largest anti-regime protests in nearly two decades.

Conspicuously absent from the list of those released so far are the names of some of Burma’s most prominent activists. Far from considering leniency towards these prisoners, the regime appears to be intent on making their lives as miserable as possible. U Gambira, one of the leaders of the All Burma Monks Alliance, the group that spearheaded the 2007 uprising, has been moved to a remote prison, making it harder for his family to visit him. Other prisoners, including Shan ethnic leader Khun Tun Oo, activist-comedian Zarganar, labor activist Su Su Nway and 88 Generation Students group leader Min Ko Naing, are also suffering from physical and mental health problems due to their mistreatment, according to AAPP.

Political prisoners have always been treated like pawns in the junta’s political game. The regime continues to insist that there are no political prisoners in any of the country’s 43 prisons and more than 50 labor camps, but the fact is that the generals do not hesitate to imprison anyone who speaks out openly against their brutal misrule. Even as the junta makes a show of releasing some prisoners, it continues to round up new ones, including several democracy activists and monks who were arrested just last week.

With this in mind, the international community must continue to confront the regime and demand the release of all political prisoners in Burma, including pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Until this happens, and until all activists are allowed to participate freely in the country’s political process, we can only assume that the generals’ occasional release of political prisoners is just part of a cynical game.

Burma Newscasts - Don’t Let the Junta off the Hook
Saturday, September 19, 2009

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More Political Prisoners Released: AAPP

The Irrawaddy News

At least 87 political dissidents were among the more than 7,000 prisoners released by Burma’s ruling junta on Friday, according to the Thailand-based Assistance Association for Political Prisoners—Burma (AAPP).

The AAPP announced on Saturday that it had confirmed the release of 87 political dissidents from 16 prisons across Burma. They include 36 members of the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) and six members of the 88 Generation Students group. Three of the NLD members were elected to serve in parliament in 1990.

According to the AAPP, there were 15 women, four monks, four journalists and one lawyer among the released prisoners.

Bo Kyi, joint-secretary of the AAPP, told The Irrawaddy on Saturday that the release of the prisoners, though welcome, still falls far short of international demands.

“It is still too early to say that this signifies any real change in Burma,” he said, noting that some of the political prisoners who had been released had nearly finished their prison terms.

“We continue to call for the immediate release of all the more than 2,100 political prisoners still behind bars,” he added.

Critics of the regime say that the latest prisoner release is little more than an attempt to deflect international criticism ahead of trip to New York by Burmese Prime Minister Thein Sein, who will attend the UN General Assembly next week.

Thet Zin, the editor of the Myanmar Nation weekly, was one of four journalists released on Friday.

He was arrested in February 2008 for possessing a video of a crackdown on pro-democracy protests in September of the previous year, as well as a report by Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, the UN special rapporteur for human rights in Burma.

Shortly after receiving a seven-year prison sentence in November 2008, he was transferred from Insein Prison in Rangoon to a remote prison in Kele, Sagaing Division.

When the Burmese state-run media announced an amnesty for 7,114 prisoners on Thursday evening, his family was hopeful that he would be among those released. Late Friday evening, he called them from Kele Township to let them know he had been freed.

“We are very happy to know that he has been released,” said one family member, adding that Thet Zin was now on his way back to Rangoon to be with his teenage daughter and son.

Another released political prisoner is Moe Kyaw Thu, also known as Bo Bo, who was serving a 20-year sentence for anti-junta activities at Mandalay Prison.

“When we heard that he was released, the whole house was noisy with happiness. His son was very, very happy about his father’s release,” a family member told The Irrawaddy on Saturday.

“When he was arrested, his son was just a few months old,” she said. “I am very happy to see that they will finally be reunited after nearly 12 years apart.”

On Friday, a high-ranking official of Burma’s Corrections Department told reporters at a press conference at Insein Prison that about 250 political prisoners would be released. However, so far only 87 political prisoners are confirmed to have been among the 7,114 prisoners included in the amnesty.

The junta has announced several mass amnesties in the past, but usually includes only a small handful of political prisoners among those granted early release. In February, 6,313 prisoners were released for “humanitarian reasons” and to enable them “to participate in fair elections to be held in 2010.” only 31 were political prisoners.

In September 2008, the regime freed 9,002 prisoners, saying it wanted to “turn them into citizens to be able to participate in building a new nation.” But only nine political prisoners, including Win Tin, a prominent NLD leader, were included in the amnesty.

In an amnesty in November 2007 to mark the conclusion of the National Convention, the junta released 8,585 prisoners. Twenty political prisoners were among them.

“Release of political prisoners is good. But many other political dissidents, including ethnic leaders, are still in prison. For national reconciliation, all of them must be freed,” said NLD spokesperson Nyan Win, speaking to The Irrawaddy on Saturday.

Meanwhile, as some families celebrate the release of loved ones, many others were disappointed to learn that their relatives remain behind bars.

One girl whose father was sentenced to 13 years in prison in 2002 said she was saddened to see that he was not on the list of released prisoners.

“I am sad that my father did not receive an amnesty, but I am happy for the other political prisoners who were released,” she said.

Burma Newscasts - More Political Prisoners Released: AAPP
Saturday, September 19, 2009

READ MORE---> More Political Prisoners Released: AAPP...

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