24 July 2023
This month marks the anniversary of the execution of prominent activists Ko Jimmy (Kyaw Min Yu) and former National League for Democracy lawmaker Ko Phyo Zeya Thaw who were hanged along with two anti-coup protesters, Ko Hla Myo Aung and Ko Aung Thura Zawon on 23 July 2022. As we remember those who lost their lives, Myanmar Campaign Network calls for the release of all political prisoners in Myanmar, including State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and President U Win Myint.
The recent incident involving deaths of at least 8 prisoners and disappearances of many others during an alleged prison transfer in Bago Region is a stark reminder that political prisoners are still at risk. According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), at least 19,609 people remain arbitrarily detained in prison. There are 115 post-coup prisoners on death row with 43 sentenced to death in absentia.
AAPP reports that prisoners are interrogated and are subjected to various forms of abuses, including physical and psychological torture, rape and sexual assault. Prisoners are denied adequate food water and medical assistance. At least 150 prisoners have died in prison due to lack of healthcare, ill-treatment or have been tortured to death during interrogation.
MCN is calling for an end to arbitrary detention and an end to human rights abuses against political prisoners in Myanmar. MCN demands justice for those who have suffered abuse and torture while in custody, as well as an investigation into reports of extrajudicial killings by security forces.
“The military has shown it will not hesitate to use extreme violence against anyone who opposes them,” Myanmar Campaign Network Campaign Manager Tasneem Roc said, “Australia must do everything in its power to end the systemic abuse and killing of political prisoners and stop the escalating violence against civilians. “
MCN encourages the Australian Government to take concrete action towards ending this injustice by putting pressure on the military regime through targeted sanctions on high-value targets, including Myanmar state-owned enterprises in oil and gas, mining, gems and timber.
Myanmar Campaign Network
+61 2 8203 6044
The Myanmar Campaign Network (MCN) is an Australian national coalition formed following the 2021 coup in Myanmar, comprising human rights organisations, international aid NGOs, Myanmar diaspora organisations, trade unions and faith-based organisations. This project is under the auspices of Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA.