Survivors Appeal for Release of Fellow Prisoners of Conscience
23 March 2011: The key advocacy group working for the rights of political prisoners in Burma today urged the ruling military regime to release the more than 2000 remaining prisoners of conscience languishing in the country’s notorious jails.
Renewed call for Burma’s ‘unacknowledged’ prisoners was made to coincide with the release of “A Country of Heroes in the Dark’ written by Hnin Pan Ein, the wife of a former political prisoner.
A compilation of articles and stories about the lives of current political prisoners, as well as the impacts of imprisonment on their families, was launched to mark the 11th anniversary of the founding of the Assistance Association of Political Prisoners (AAPP-Burma).
Tate Naing, Secretary of AAPP, said: “With more than 2076 people languishing behind bars for their political beliefs, and no sign that the military regime plans to release them, AAPP will continue to shine a much needed spotlight on Burma’s unsung heroes – its political prisoners – and ensure they will never be forgotten.”
Responding to questions at the United Human Rights Council in January, Burma’s military regime denied holding any prisoners of conscience in the country’s jail. The regime represenatives said that only ‘criminals’ who broke Burma’s laws are being incarcerated.
Hnin Pan Ein’s articles were originally aired by Radio Free Asia.
Founded on 23 March 2000, AAPP has since documented human rights violations including torture inside Burma’s prisons and interrogation centres, systematically committed against more than 2000 political prisoners by the military regime, saying the situation has not improved.
The group today urged the international community to be united in a concerted effort to campaign for the ‘unconditional and immediate’ release of political prisoners in Burma.
AAPP’s previous publications about Burma’s political prisoners include Spirit for Survival, Memoirs without Record of a Youth, Ten Years On, Women Political Prisoners in Burma, The Noise of the Hanging Gallows, The Darkness We See: Torture in Burma’s Interrogation Centers and Prisons, and A Living Hell: is that all you’ve got?!
Van Biak Thang