The release of 19 Karen political prisoners has raised the hopes that the country’s remaining 800 prisoners of conscience will soon be freed.
The Assistance Association for Political Prisoner (Burma) this weeksaid that on Monday, the Burma government released 514 prisoners under the criminal law procedure article 401 (1) and among those released, were 19 Karen political prisoners.
The 19 Karen released are: U Myint Hlaing, Naw Tae Hei (a.k.a) Naw Kae Hei, Saw Aung Naing Oo (a.k.a) Saw Palee, Saw Chit Hla, Saw Hla Sein, Saw Kler Say Doh, Saw Khu Wah, Saw Ko Ko Aung, Saw Kyaw Htoo, Saw Lar Lah Htoo, Saw Lay Doh, Saw Lo, Saw Mae Doh, Saw Muh Ri Htoo, Saw Myo Myint, Saw Tun Naing Oo, Saw Yin Hla (a.k.a) Saw Aye Hla, Tin Oo (a.k.a) Soe Thee (a.k.a) Poe Thee and Win Hlaing.
Ko Tate Naing, the Secretary of AAPP spoke to Karen News.
“The released of the Karen prisoners are those who were involve in Burma’s politics when they were arrested. We have documented their cases from the beginning and they were included in our listings.”
AAPP said that their organisation made sure about the ethnic identity of political prisoners mainly through their networks and the prisoners’ families.
AAPP’s website stated that most of the Karen prisoners had been charged under article 17/1 – the Illegal Organization Act – and their sentences ranged from two years to 56-years in prison.
The AAPP’s, Ko Tate Naing, said that to help the national reconciliation efforts, his orhganisation acknowledged that President Thein Sein’s government had released political prisoners, but AAPP called on the government to immediately release all of the remaining 800 political prisoners.