Monday, October 7, 2013

BurmaCampaign Digest, Vol 65, Issue 3

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Today's Topics:

1. Student Activist Arrested For Promoting Farmers Rights (Info)


----------------------------------------------------------------------

Message: 1
Date: Mon, 07 Oct 2013 12:07:12 +0100
From: Info <info@burmacampaign.org.uk>
To: "burmacampaign@lists.burmacampaign.org.uk"
<burmacampaign@lists.burmacampaign.org.uk>
Subject: [BurmaCampaign] Student Activist Arrested For Promoting
Farmers Rights
Message-ID: <CE785470.1936C%info@burmacampaign.org.uk>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

Dear Friend



Take action to free Thant Zin Htet! No Political Prisoners must be left
behind in Burma?s jails!


Thant Zin Htet is a 22-year-old student from Nattalin, Bago Division. He is
a second year English major student at Pyay University. Before he was
arrested, he had been campaigning as a student activist to promote
democracy, human rights and farmers? rights.

On 10th June 2013, he and two other activists visited Pae Ma Khan village in
Bago Division to show their support to farmers who ploughed land that had
been confiscated. The Burmese Army had confiscated their land almost two
decades ago.

The day after the demonstration, they were asked to meet the head of the
local authority from Nattalin Township in Bago Division. On their arrival,
they were arrested and taken to Nattalin Court by the police. When Thant Zin
Htet was arrested, he was falsely accused of participating in illegal
organisations and protesting without permission.

He has been charged under two different counts including under Section 6 of
the Law Relation to Forming of Organisation and Article 18(b) of the
Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession Law. He is being detained in
Paungde Prison and he is currently on trial. If he is found guilty, he could
be sent to prison for more than 6 years. Having a criminal record means he
won?t be able to continue his studies after his release.

Please write to EU High Representative Catherine Ashton, who is overseeing
the drafting the UN General Assembly Resolution on Burma, and ask her to
include demands for action, which will help solve the problem of political
prisoners once and for all.

Please copy and paste the letter below and send it via the form on the EU
website <http://eeas.europa.eu/contact/index_en.htm> :
http://eeas.europa.eu/contact/index_en.htm


Letter to Catherine Ashton:


Dear Baroness Ashton,

I am writing to you today regarding political prisoners in Burma, as you are
a person overseeing the drafting of the UN General Assembly Resolution on
Burma. Although there have been releases of many high profile political
prisoner, hundreds of political prisoners remain in jail. It is now clear
that the political prisoners review committee will not be able to solve the
problem of political prisoners. I would like you to ensure that the
following issues are included in the UN General Assembly Resolution on
Burma.

Many peaceful protesters have been arrested under the new so-called right to
protest law, which enables the government to ban any gathering. For example,
a student activist, Thant Zin Htet was arrested on 11 June 2013 and he was
charged under two different counts including under Article 18(b) of the
Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession Law.

New laws are being used for repression, and almost all the old repressive
laws which are used to put political prisoners in jail remain in place.
Therefore, the resolution should call for the repealing or revising of the
current repressive laws. Until then there should be a suspension of the
application of repressive laws.

Secondly, the resolution should call for a permanent and genuinely
independent review mechanism with the involvement of international experts,
to investigate cases where people were jailed unjustly and secure their
immediate unconditional release.

Thirdly, the resolution should call for the immediate and unconditional
release of all political prisoners in Burma.

Finally, the resolution should call for compensation and rehabilitation
programs to be provided for former political prisoners after their release.
Criminal records, which all former political prisoners have, should be
removed and they should be allowed to continue their studies and their
previous careers without restrictions.

In conclusion, the issue of political prisoners should still remain a top
priority when drafting the UN General Resolution on Burma. The immediate and
unconditional release of all political prisoners is an essential step
towards peace and national reconciliation in Burma.

Therefore, I urge you to ensure all these key demands are included in the UN
General Assembly Resolution on Burma.

Yours sincerely

-----

Thank you for your support.
Wai Hnin
Burma Campaign UK


Ps. The letter to Catherine Ashton is also on our website here.
<http://www.burmacampaign.org.uk/index.php/campaigns/actions/free-political-
prisoners/free-burmas-political-prisoners
>


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End of BurmaCampaign Digest, Vol 65, Issue 3
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