Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Update: Activists Demand ASEAN Action for the Release of Burma's Political Prisoners*

From: Burma Partnership

Date: Fri, Nov 21, 2008

Subject: Update: Activists Demand ASEAN Action for the Release of Burma's Political Prisoners*

Burma Partnership

"Strengthening Cooperation for a Free Burma"

For Immediate Release

21 November 2008

Activists Demand ASEAN Action for the Release of Burma's Political Prisoners

Today, activists from over 40 civil society networks and organizations across the Asia-Pacific Region called on ASEAN leaders to actively demand the release of all political prisoners in Burma, particularly asking the issue to be brought to focus at the upcoming ASEAN summit in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

The open letter, endorsed by 44 organizations, states, "So far in November the military regime has sentenced 137 pro-democracy activists, some with sentences up to 65 years imprisonment … These arbitrary trials and imprisonments are more than just incidences of injustice, but political actions aimed at perpetuating fear and prolonging dictatorial domination in Burma."

The activists want ASEAN leaders to recognize the continual arrest and sentencing of pro-democracy activists - artists, students, monks, journalists, lawyers and civilians - as an indication of the increasing instability in Burma. They believe the military junta is not working towards national reconciliation, which many international leaders and ASEAN ministers have called for, but instead actively attempting to silence any person or organization struggling for a government that respects human rights and the rule of law.

"Burma is already a red stain on ASEAN's name, and problems of its further instability are already spilling over. Ever since Burma's military regime pledged to sign the ASEAN charter, it has moved further from the standards of the Charter and engaged in harsh measures that create an insecure society. ASEAN leaders must not ignore these actions," noted Khin Ohmar, Coordinator of the Burma Partnership.

For further information please contact -
Khin Ohmar (Burma Partnership): +66 81 884 0772
Ko Tate Naing (Assistance Association for Political Prisoners): +66 81 287 8751
Debbie Stodhard (Alternative ASEAN Network on Burma): +66 81 686 1652

For updated news and information about Burma:

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