November 24, 2004
Chin Human Rights Organization welcomes the release last week of Burmese student leader Min Ko Naing and some prisoners of conscience by the State Peace and Development Council SPDC.
The unconditional release of all political prisoners is a fundamental necessity in bringing Burma on the path of political and human rights reform. As such, the SPDC must release all remaining political prisoners as a first step towards the process of democratic transition and national reconciliation.
In announcing the intended release of nearly 4,000 prisoners last week, the SPDC admitted that the prisoners were “inappropriately” arrested and jailed by the dissolved National Intelligence Bureau (NIB). There are well over one thousand political prisoners still in Burmese jails, including Aung San Suu Kyi who is still under house arrest. The SPDC should acknowledge that “improper deeds” were employed by the NIB to imprison these people, and accordingly grant freedom to all remaining political prisoners.
The intelligence service was responsible for intimidating, torturing and employing terror tactics against the populace, deliberately obstructing legitimate activities of political parties. The SPDC should reverse the “inappropriate actions” of the intelligence service and restore the rights of legitimate political parties to freely conduct their affairs.
Chin Human Rights Organization