The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) has today – 25 September 2016 – published a report entitled ‘Prisons Conditions in Burma and the Potential for Prison Reform’. The report will be available on AAPP’s website in English and Burmese.
The report is a preliminary assessment of the potential for prison reform in Burma and aims to provide foundations upon which to build a comprehensive strategy for prison reform.
The report identifies the key issues impacting Burma’s prison system. The international and domestic standards pertaining to these issues are presented and domestic legislation is compared against international rules and norms. The actual conditions in Burma’s prisons are assessed and compared to the domestic legislation as well as the international norms and standards pertaining to prisons.The report highlights the pervasive issue of overcrowding, systematic use of torture, lack of access to health care and continued use of solitary confinement and prison labor in Burma’s prisons. It reveals that much of the domestic legislation and the current prison conditions fall woefully short of international standards. This makes a strong case for prison reform.
The reportthen suggests potential reform projects to address these issues, including legislative reform centered on the ratification of international conventions and bringing domestic legislation in line with international standards. It also suggests thecreation of a Ministry of Justice and transfer of the prison administration under its jurisdiction, prison staff training, educational and vocational training for prisoners, and alternatives to detention and imprisonment.
AAPP hopes that this report will raise awareness of the inadequacies of the prison sector and highlight the importance of making prison reforma government priority. We urge the Burma governmentto implement the report’s recommendations, starting with the ratification of the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).AAPP urgespolitical parties, civil society groups and the international community to stand with us in our efforts to ensure the Burma Government heed to these calls and make prison reform a priority.
Tate Naing, AAPP Secretary: +66 (0) 81-2878751
Bo Kyi, AAPP Joint Secretary: +95 (0) 9-425308840
Download this press release in English HERE.