The Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL-Foundation) welcomes recent political developments in Burma, progress which includes less censorship of the media; more engagement with the NLD, Aung San Suu Kyi, and some ethnic groups; the release of some, though not all, political prisoners; and finally, the re-registration of the NLD as a political party to contest for the 48 parliamentary seats up for grabs in a by-election expected next year. The last year has seen substantive progress in the country and the regime’s positive steps should be recognized and encouraged.
Tens of Thousands Still Isolated From Assistance, Abuses Continue (New York, December 21, 2011) – The Burmese government should make a long-term commitment with humanitarian agencies to provide relief to Burma’s war-torn Kachin state, Human Rights Watch said today. Since June 2011, an estimated 50,000 ethnic Kachin have been displaced due to fighting between the Burmese army and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), and many are in great need of humanitarian assistance.
Press Government to Free Political Prisoners, End Impunity for War Crimes (Manila, November 17, 2011) – The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) should set clear human rights benchmarks for Burma as a condition for its chairmanship of the regional grouping in 2014, Human Rights Watch said today.
Progress in Rhetoric and Policies Should be Matched by Implementation (New York, November 4, 2011) – Positive actions by Burma’s new government should not obscure the serious human rights problems persisting in the country one year after the November 2010 elections, Human Rights Watch said in a briefing paper released on November 3, 2011.
BURMESE MONK NEEDS URGENT MEDICAL CARE U Gambira, a Buddhist monk imprisoned in Myanmar because of his role in antigovernment protests in 2007, is seriously ill in prison. Amnesty International has recently received information that his injuries resulted from torture he suffered in 2009. He urgently needs to be transferred to a hospital and treated for his injuries.
Reporters Without Borders is posting a video interview with the comedian and blogger Zarganar, who was freed from Myitkyina prison on 12 October under a government amnesty.
Arakan Human Rights and Development Organisation (AHRDO) welcomes the release on 12 October 2011 of 6,359 prisoners. As of October 13 according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners-Burma (AAPP-Burma) approximately 220 political prisoners including 7 Arakanese monks and activists, viz. U Einthariya, U Kawvida, Ko San Lwin, Ko Naing Soe, Ko Min Aung, Ko Kyaw Win Chay and U Myat Tun, were released.
Paris-Bangkok, 14 October 2011. The release this week of an estimated 220 political prisoners in Burma comes as a relief to their families and colleagues, but again fall far short of a key benchmark for reconciliation and genuine transition to democracy, namely the unconditional and immediate release of all remaining political prisoners and the cessation of military attacks on civilians, said the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and its member organization the Alternative ASEAN Network on Burma (Altsean-Burma) today.
The release of at least 120 political prisoners in Myanmar today is a minimum first step, and authorities must immediately and unconditionally release all remaining prisoners of conscience, Amnesty International said.
Genuine Reforms Needed Before Considering ASEAN Chairmanship (New York, October 4, 2011) – The first official visit to Burma by Thailand’s new prime minister should focus on mutual human rights concerns as well as investment opportunities, Human Rights Watch said today. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra will pay a short visit to the Burmese capital Naypyidaw for several hours on October 5, 2011, meeting with Burmese President Thein Sein, but has no plans to see the democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, or ethnic political party leaders.