The Myanmar government’s decision to form a committee to review political prisoner cases is a step in the right direction but the review needs to have a much wider reach, Amnesty International said.
“We are heartened by this very important first step towards establishing a review mechanism. However, it is imperative to have assurances that the mandate of this new committee will extend to all prisoners who have been unfairly detained, not only political prisoners,” said Isabelle Arradon, Amnesty International’s Deputy-Director for the Asia-Pacific.
The government yesterday announced it would proceed with setting up the committee, which will look into granting amnesties to political prisoners. Many prisoners of conscience are still imprisoned in Myanmar, having been falsely charged or convicted of a serious offense, arbitrarily detained, or imprisoned solely for their peaceful political activities. .
“The commission should have a strong mandate in order to bring an end to arbitrary detentions and ensure human rights for prisoners and detainees in Myanmar.” Arradon added.