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On Suu Kyi's Birthday, PHR Calls for Release of Burma's Political Prisoners

Bill Davis on June 17, 2011

Sunday is Aung San Suu Kyi’s 66th birthday. Suu Kyi, a pro-democracy leader in Burma, has spent 15 years under house arrest as a political prisoner. She was finally released late last year, and has since called for the release of all political prisoners.

"Until political prisoners have been released, and until we are all allowed to take part in the political process in the country, I do not think we can call it real change," Suu Kyi has said.

There are currently 1,992 political prisoners in Burma, including more than 140 women and 200 monks. Some are serving sentences of 100 years or more. A few weeks ago in response to a visit by a UN official, 77 prisoners with less than a year left on their sentences were released when the government granted “amnesty” and reduced all prison sentences by one year.

Hunger strikes are occurring in prisons throughout Burma as political prisoners protest conditions in the prisons, the government’s “amnesty” releases, and lack of access to healthcare. Although most of the political prisoners in Burma were sentenced by the previous administration and the administration has changed, the political prisoners remain in jail. 

In honor of the birthday of Burma’s most famous political prisoner, PHR calls for the release of all of the country’s political prisoners.

Places: Burma