The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners reports that as of the end of January, there were 213 activists awaiting trial and 159 political prisoners in Myanmar.
AAPP secretary U Tate Naing told media on February 17: “We will try as much as we can to campaign for their freedom. We will urge the government to unconditionally release them as soon as possible and we will issue press releases in order that citizens can learn about an issue like this.”
He added that the AAPP is working to encourage the international community to put pressure on the Myanmar government to release the political prisoners.
As the group points out, this January an activist was arrested and then detained, 17 activists were charged, and an activist was sentenced to one year in prison.
U Tate Naing says that AAPP continues to inform international human rights organizations and the United Nations about the situation of political prisoners in Myanmar every month and whenever an issue arises.
President U Thein Sein and other high level government officials have commented on the continuing reform process in the country and spoke about the release of prisoners of conscience and promotion of human rights, such as freedom of expression, but it remains to be seen whether all of these promises will be upheld or remain “just a dream,” according to the NGO.
AAPP compiles their monthly lists based on the reports of news media and other sources related to political prisoners’ affairs and human rights issues.