Amnesty International has called into question President Thein Sein’s recent commitment to clear Myanmar’s jails of prisoners of conscience by the end of the year. On the same day he made this promise to delegates at a conference in London, police in Myanmar’s Rakhine state arbitrarily detained a 74-year-old Rohingya human rights defender.
“The government continues to rely on repressive laws to silence dissent and jail peaceful protesters in Myanmar,” said Amy Smith, Amnesty International’s Myanmar researcher. “For there to be lasting change in the country, these practices need to be stopped and the laws need to be brought in line with international standards.”
During a speech at the independent policy institute Chatham House in London on 15 July 2013, President Thein Sein said, “I guarantee to you that by the end of this year, there will be no prisoners of conscience in Burma.”