Burma's Remaining Political Prisoners
Press Release: Terry Evans
19 November 2010
With Aung San Suu Kyi's recent release, the focus has now shifted to the plight of Burma's remaining 2,202 prisoners of conscience.
The generals have been busy since the monk-led Saffron Revolution of 2007. In an effort to stamp out dissent, the number of political prisons detained during the last three years has doubled. Leading critics of the regime have been removed systematically to remote areas of Burma, cutting them off from family and friends who would normally provide them with food and medicine during their incarceration.
A recent report by the UN Special Rapporteur on Burma to the UN General Assembly stated, "Torture or other forms of inhuman treatment of political detainees are believed to be routine, especially during initial interrogation. Convicted prisoners are also reported to be subjected to torture and other forms of cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment for breaches of prison regulations."
The health conditions in Burma's 50 prisons and 44 labour camps are appalling, with a lack of doctors, medicines and access to timely treatment. It is hardly surprising that, in Aung San Suu Kyi's first address since her release, she asked for her supporters to pray for Burma's remaining political prisoners.
According to Assistance Association of Political Prisoners (Burma), currently, the 2,202 political prisoners jailed across Burma can be broken down as follows:
Members of Parliament: 12
NLD Members: 413
Members of the Human Rights Defenders and Promoters Network: 31
Ethnic Nationalities: 233
Cyclone Nargis Volunteers: 20
Media Activists: 40
Labour Activists: 36
88 Generation Students: 39
Individual Activists: 608