When Myanmar's Not Free, None Of Us Are Free
Myanmar is about to hold its first national election in two decades.
In the last elections in 1990, the National League for Democracy (NLD) won a resounding victory — only for the military government to ignore the results and arrest scores of opposition activists who threatened their grip on power.
We cannot let this happen again
Many of Myanmar's 50 million people live in poverty. And those who express views contrary to that of the ruling authorities face harassment, arrest, torture, imprisonment and, sometimes, execution. Many are held in solitary confinement, denied access to medical care and cut off from their families and loved ones.
More than 2,200 political prisoners are behind bars in Myanmar - silenced simply for exercising their rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association.
The eyes of the world are on Myanmar as they prepare for elections. As the moment draws near, foreign ministers of Myanmar's neighbouring countries are under pressure to speak out against the military government.
Now is a critical time to put pressure on these Ministers and defend the three freedoms - expression, assembly and association - in Myanmar.
We cannot let the repression continue while Myanmar's election goes ahead. With your help, we can work towards a global outcry that ensures the people of Myanmar are protected in the lead up to the 2010 elections and beyond.
Write a letter to 9 Foreign Ministers from Myanmar’s neighbouring countries
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A model letter is given below~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Later this year, Myanmar will hold elections for the first time in two decades. However, the human rights situation in the run-up to the polls remains grim. More than 2,200 political prisoners, many of them prisoners of conscience, continue to languish behind bars in Myanmar. Under Electoral Laws enacted in March, none of them can take part in the elections.
I therefore urge your Government, as a member of ASEAN, to work with all ASEAN states to uphold the binding principles of the ASEAN charter, for "respect for fundamental freedoms, the promotion and protection of human rights, and social justice", by pressing the Myanmar government to:
- Release immediately and unconditionally all prisoners of conscience arrested solely on the basis of their peaceful political activity, ethnicity, or religion.
- Ensure that all people in Myanmar can enjoy the "Three Freedoms" of expression, peaceful assembly, and association throughout the elections period and beyond it.
ASEAN has a key role to play to bringing these long-overdue human rights improvements to Myanmar.
Thank you for your attention.
Credit : Amnesty International