Burma: 12 years under house arrest-Amnesty demands release of Aung San Suu Kyi and all other prisoners of conscience

On the day the United Nations celebrates its 62nd birthday, the leader of the Burmese National League of Democracy will mark her 12th year under house arrest.

As Aung San Suu Kyi today enters her 12th year under house arrest, Amnesty International UK, as part of a wider coalition, has called for the release of all prisoners of conscience held in detention by the Burmese junta.

Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty International UK, said:

“Aung San Suu Kyi is an iconic symbol of Burmese political resistance. Her freedom would be a significant step forward.

“The United Nations is celebrating its birthday today and what better way to celebrate that milestone than to call not only for her immediate release, but the release of all prisoners of conscience in Burma and an immediate arms embargo?”

Kate Allen added:

“We cannot allow ourselves to forget what is happening to the people of Burma.

“A month ago the world looked on as thousands of monks led peaceful protests against a regime where torture, child soldiers and detention without trial are routine.

“The military junta responded with brutal force and admitted to killing 13 and arresting over 2,000 – although Amnesty International fears the real figures are much higher.

“The massive military presence has been scaled back, barricades have been moved from monasteries, and the streets are quiet.

“But beneath the surface of restored normality monasteries remain eerily empty, monks and civilians have disappeared – many hundreds are believed to be held in detention – and night-time arrests continue.

“Against this backdrop of continuing human rights violations, this brutal regime continues to benefit from a ready supply of arms. It has received armoured personnel carriers from Ukraine, munitions from India and military aircraft from the likes of Russia and China.

“If the United Nations wants to make a difference it must bring to a halt this supply of arms.”

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