Press Release: AAPP 10th anniversary and report launch

To mark the 10th anniversary of its founding, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma) launched a new report, “The Role of Political Prisoners in the National Reconciliation Process”. The report calls on the international community to press the military junta to unconditionally release all political prisoners, review the 2008 Constitution, and begin a tripartite dialogue.

The report also calls for the criminal records of all political prisoners to be erased. The 2010 election and party registration laws prohibit current prisoners including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and U Khun Tun Oo from standing for election or belonging to a political party.

“Political prisoners need to be able to freely participate in the political process and more importantly, national reconciliation. The current election laws aimed at disqualifying political prisoners are an unsurprising ploy to restrict all opposition groups”, said Ko Tate Naing AAPP Secretary.

“We request all governments, to not recognise the 2010 elections if political prisoners are not released. Without the release of all political prisoners there can be no national reconciliation or democratisation in Burma,” he continued.

The 2008 Constitution and the current election laws are analysed in relation to political prisoners and national reconciliation. The 2008 Constitution rather than supporting national reconciliation, works against it, by ignoring the calls for autonomy, at the root of the ongoing conflicts, and restricting basic human rights and fundamental freedoms, further.

Political prisoners have a crucial role to play in national reconciliation. The report highlights the individual contributions several political prisoners have already made to this process.

Tate Naing stated “National reconciliation requires a shared vision and mutual respect and a commitment to peaceful solutions to overcome decades of mistrust. Political prisoners represent the struggle for human rights and democracy and can provide the moral leadership and authority required to unite the people and begin the process of national reconciliation.”

The report was launched in both English and Burmese versions, and in addition, the Executive Summary and the Recommendations will be launched in Kachin, Shan, and several other languages.

The report can be found on AAPP’s website.

Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma)

For media interviews, please contact:
Tate Naing, Secretary: +66 (0) 81-287-8751
Bo Kyi, Joint-Secretary: +66 (0) 81-324-8935
Aung Din, Former Political Prisoner, USA Representative, ++(301) 602 0077

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