Amnesty International Urges Secretary Clinton to Act on Behalf of U.S. Citizen Arrested and Tortured in Burma

Amnesty International Press Statement
Friday, September 25, 2009

Amnesty International Urges Secretary Clinton to Act on Behalf of U.S. Citizen Arrested and Tortured in Burma
(Washington) – Amnesty International reported today that activist Kyaw Zaw Lwin, who was arrested on September 3, has suffered torture and other ill-treatment while in detention in Insein Prison in Yangon, Burma. According to reliable sources, he has been denied medical treatment for the injuries he sustained from the torture he endured during interrogation. Amnesty International has grave concerns about his health.

Burma’s state newspaper, New Light of Myanmar, recently reported that Kyaw Zaw Lwin had entered Burma to “create unrests within the country.” The newspaper reported details of the activities that Kyaw Zaw Lwin and other Burmese pro-democracy exiles allegedly undertook in collaboration with “internal anti-government elements” in Myanmar.

“Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should immediately take steps to stop the torture and ill-treatment of a U.S. citizen arrested in Burma,” said T. Kumar, Amnesty International USA advocacy director for international issues. “In addition to his injuries and lack of treatment, Kyaw Zaw Lwin has also been deprived food for seven days.”

Secretary Clinton announced yesterday that the United States will begin to engage with high-level Burmese leaders to bring democracy to the nation and the release of the opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, has been declared a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International.

“This is the first test for the United States’ new policy of engagement,” said Kumar. “Amnesty International hopes that this new engagement also covers protecting human rights in Burma. If Secretary Clinton fails to act, there will be many questions about the United States’ latest strategy to end the oppression of the Burmese people.”

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