Release of Political Prisoners Welcomed, but “Revolving Door” of Arrests Continues, Burma Campaign UK Warns

A human rights advocacy groups called for caution as Burma’s government released 52 political prisoners, stating that the situation is like a “revolving door” with hundreds still awaiting trial and fresh arrests.

Burma’s government released 52 political prisoners this week. Yet human rights organisation Burma Campaign UK urged caution as political dissidents keep getting arrested.

Burma Campaign UK referred to the case of U Gambira, a former leader of the pro-democracy uprising in 2007, who was reportedly arrested on 19 January at a hotel in Mandalay.

“The events of the past week highlight how there has been little fundamental change with the problem of people being jailed for their political beliefs, ethnicity or religion,” Burma Campaign UK said in a statement.

Burma Campaign Uk added: “It also highlights how President Thein Sein did not deliver on promises to free all political prisoners. Almost all those freed in recent releases where jailed during his Presidency.”

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoner – Burma (AAPP) also noted in their statement released on the day of Presidential Amnesty on January 22 that the recent arrest and detention of prominent leader of the Saffron Revolution U Gambira (aka) Nyi Nyi Lwin … demonstrate that the government continues to harbor resentment and animosity toward those that oppose them.

According to data from the Political Prisoner Association of Myanmar, 403 political prisoners are currently awaiting trial.

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