New arrests of peaceful protesters in Myanmar seriously undermine the credibility of the far-reaching Presidential pardon issued at the end of 2013, Amnesty International said today.
At least three people have been charged in January under a draconian anti-protest law for acts of peaceful protest. These include two land rights activists and a Buddhist monk on hunger strike. These are the first protest-related charges since a government pardon on 30 December 2013 of all those convicted under several repressive laws.
“The Myanmar government has done much to try to convince the world that it is turning a corner on human rights. But these charges clearly show how the same repressive tactics are continuing,” said Isabelle Arradon, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific Deputy Director.
“The new charges seriously call into question the government’s commitment to human rights. Last year’s amnesties and pardons will have been meaningless if the authorities simply continue to harass those peacefully exercising their rights.”