Burma urged for unconditional release of political prisoners
09 October 2013: The government of Burma has been urged for the unconditional release of political prisoners without any restrictions in place.
The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma) said that the political prisoners who were released under Article 401 of the Code of Criminal Procedure still faced difficulties.
AAPP said in its statement that although it welcomed the presidential amnesty given yesterday to 56 political, the release did not officially acknowledge their political status.
“It is unacceptable that the old prison sentence still hangs over them once they have been freed.”
According to the Freedom House, Article 401 gives the president authority to release prisoners at his or her discretion but stipulates that released prisoners can be returned to prison at any time to serve out the remainder of their sentence.
AAPP said that 133 political prisoners are still in prison across the country and that over 200 political activists are awaiting trial, a majority under section 18 of the Peaceful Assembly Law and Section 505 (b) of the Penal Code.
EU High Representative Catherine Ashton, who will be overseeing the drafting of the UN General Assembly Resolution on Burma, has been called for making sure that issues related to the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners be included in it.#