Burma Partnership Khin Omar Open Letter to ASEAN Foreign Ministers ASEAN must call for the release of political prisoners in Burma

Your Excellencies,

On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we, the Working Group members of the Burma Partnership, reiterate our call on ASEAN to demand the release of all political prisoners in Burma, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and ethnic leaders. As the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meeting will be held in Indonesia on December 15, to celebrate the ASEAN Charter coming into effect, we particularly ask you to make the issue of Burma’s political prisoners focal there.

Since adopting the ASEAN Charter, the military junta in Burma has increased its repression. ASEAN’s failure to positively respond to our letter of November 2 (endorsed by 44 organizations) on this matter has emboldened the junta to intensify its crackdown. In November, at least 215 activists were sentenced up to 65 years imprisonment. These prisoners are not violent criminals, but monks, students, bloggers, lawyers, journalists, musicians, poets, and political leaders who peacefully demand a stable government, one that respects the rule of law, as well as people’s rights to life, liberty and security. These are the fundamental principles encompassed by the ASEAN Charter. continue
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