News and Reports
No Political Prisoner Left Behind – Free Thant Zaw!
Burma Campaign UK today urged Jeremy Browne MP, British Foreign Office Minister with responsibility for Burma, to do more to persuade the military-backed government in Burma to release all remaining political prisoners in Burma.
There have been a series of positive changes in Burma, including the release of high profile political prisoners, and Aung San Suu Kyi being elected as a member of parliament. However, hundreds of political prisoners remain behind bars and no-one should be left behind in appalling conditions in jail.
The unconditional release of all political prisoners is an essential step towards genuine democracy and freedom in Burma. Regardless of the changes in Burma, all the repressive laws which enabled the jailing of political prisoners still remain in place.
To remember those who still remain in jail, Burma Campaign UK will highlighting the case of a different political prisoner every month. This month, April, the political prisoner who Burma Campaign UK is highlighting is Thant Zaw (aka) Than Zaw.
Thant Zaw was sentenced to 30 years in 1989 and still remains in jail. He was accused without any evidence and charged with two different counts including High Treason within the Union of Burma Act, which he did not commit. He is a 43-year-old activist and he was an active member of the National League for Democracy Youth (NLD Youth). He was sentenced to death with 30 years in jail in September 1989 but the sentence was later reduced to 30 years in prison. Due to the brutal tortures he went through, Thant Zaw’s health has deteriorated in prison but he has not received any medical attention. His mother, Daw Sein Sein, 70 years old, told Democratic Voice of Burma of her worries about not being able to see her son’s release before she dies.
“Jeremy Browne and the international community must remember the remaining political prisoners such as Thant Zaw”, said Wai Hnin, Campaigns Officer at Burma Campaign UK. “No-one should be left behind in this process of change in Burma. There cannot be peace and a democratic system in Burma as long as one political prisoner still remains in jail.”
Burma Campaign UK supporters are being asked to write a letter to Foreign Minister Jeremy Browne asking him to take action to secure the release of Thant Zaw and for the release of all of Burma’s remaining political prisoners. Solidarity letters can also be written and send to Thayet prison where Thant Zaw is imprisoned.
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