Mae Sot – Thailand. (and). According to different sources the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) in Burma „can confirm that so far 128 political prisoners have been released from 25 different prisons in Burma.“
The 128 people released include 44 members of the National League for Democracy, including 3 MPs; 22 women; 11 former political prisoners; 4 monks; 4 journalists; 13 students; 10 members of the Human Rights Defenders and Promoters Network; 5 members of the 88 Generation Students; and 1 lawyer.
On the evening of September 17, 2009 in Rangoon, state-run MRTV carried a news bulletin announcing that 7,114 prisoners were to be released “on humanitarian grounds.”
43 members of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party were released, including three MPs. However, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, her personal assistant U Win Htein and NLD Vice-Chairman U Tin Oo all remain in detention. No leading opposition figures were released in the amnesty.
AAPP Secretary Tate Naing said, “Important political figures like Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Shan National League for Democracy leader U Khun Tun Oo, 88 Generation Students leader Min Ko Naing and other prominent activists are still in prison, because the regime perceives them as a threat to its absolute power.”
22 women, four monks, and four journalists were released. The journalists included Eint Khaing Oo and Kyaw Kyaw Thant, arrested for their efforts to help a group of Cyclone Nargis survivors. Also released were U Peter and Daw Nu Nu Swe, arrested and sentenced to six years imprisonment after they refused to open the door to security forces who were searching for their son, Sithu Maung.
A leader of the All Burma Federation of Student Unions, 22 year-old Sithu Maung was arrested at a different location and is currently serving a jail term of 11 years and 6 months in the remote Buthidaung prison for his role in protests in August and September 2007.
More than 2,000 political prisoners remain in jail, including at least 124 activists who are in poor health.
During the month of August 2009, at least 31 activists were arrested, 5 were sentenced for the first time in their case and 33 were released. At least 137 political prisoners are in poor health due to the harsh prison conditions, transfers to remote prisons where there are no doctors, and the denial of proper medical care.