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British Government Must Put Pressure on Aung San Suu Kyi to Free Political Prisoners

January 25th, 2021  •  Author:   Burma Campaign UK  •  2 minute read
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Burma Campaign UK today urged the British Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, to put pressure on Aung San Suu Kyi to release all political prisoners in Burma.

Aung San Suu Kyi has kept almost all repressive laws in place, and they are being used against critics of the government and military. State media controlled by the NLD government has even carried propaganda features defending and promoting the usefulness of repressive laws.

Aung San Suu Kyi’s civilian government has complete control over whether or not political activists face trial and whether political prisoners remain in jail. In her first term in government Aung San Suu Kyi initially released some, but not all, political prisoners. By the end of the term, there were almost the same amount, 584, of political prisoners or activists awaiting trial as under the previous military-backed government.

Restrictions on press freedom have increased, and many journalists face harassment for reporting on current affairs. According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma), a total of 601 political prisoners are currently either in jail or awaiting trial.

“Aung San Suu Kyi knows how it feels to be locked up for speaking out but it is very disappointing to see that she has made an active decision to keep many political prisoners in jail,” said Wai Hnin Pwint Thon, Campaigns Officer at Burma Campaign UK. “The British government used to put a lot of pressure on the military regime for jailing political activists, but now they are letting Aung San Suu Kyi get away with keeping political prisoners in jail without facing pressure. It is time for the British government to increase pressure on Aung San Suu Kyi, and stand up for political prisoners in Burma.”

Burma Campaign UK is asking supporters to write to Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, calling on him to step up public and private pressure on Aung San Suu Kyi to ensure that all repressive laws in Burma are repealed, and all political prisoners are released immediately and unconditionally.

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