Our new Prisoner of Conscience
We have a new Prisoner of Conscience that we are supporting under the Individual at Risk Programme. His name is Dr Tun Aung, a 65yr old medical doctor who is detained in Sittwe Prison, Rakine State in Myanmar(Burma).
His story: When a riot broke out between Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims on 8th June 2012 in Maungdaw, western Myanmar, Dr Tun Aung agreed to help police diffuse tensions.
Relations between the two communities had deteriorated after 10 Muslims had been killed on 3rd June as revenge for the rape and murder of a Buddhist Rakhine woman on 28th May.
Eyewitnesses stated that Dr Tun Aung, a medical doctor and chairman of the local Islamic Religious Affairs Council, actively tried to calm the situation on 8th June.
On 11th June, he was arrested for inciting communal violence. He was held incommunicado for at least 3 months and has been denied the right to appoint a lawyer of his own choice. Instead he has been allocated a state lawyer whom he has not been allowed to meet privately – giving him no chance of a fair trial.
Dr Tun Aung is a prisoner of conscience who should never have been arrested as he did not incite or take part in the violence on 8th June.
Take Action Now. In early 2013 the President of Myanmar set up a committee to identify people who had been imprisoned for political reasons and to consider them for release. It is called the Committee for Scrutinizing the Remaining Prisoners of Conscience and U Soe Thane is the chairman. This is a good opportunity for AI members to draw to his attention the case of Dr Tun Aung during July and August.
Write letters now to include:
AI believes that Dr Tun Aung is a prisoner of conscience and should be released immediately and unconditionally.
While the authorities consider his release he should be moved from Sittwe prison to Insein prison so that he is able to have regular family visits.
He should be provided with the medical care and medication he requires to manage a serious health condition.
Letters to: U Soe Thane, Union Minister
Address: Ministry of President Office
Nay Pyi Taw
Republic of the Union of Myanmar
Salutation: Dear Minister