January 2014 AAPP Monthly Chronology
Summary of the current situation
The end of 2013 saw the cancelation of numerous political activists trials, and the release of a few from Burma‟s prison. According to government statements, this has emptied the jails of political activists. Those trials under the most commonly used laws to arrests activists were ended and the accused freed without further charge. And yet President Thein Sein has still failed to achieve his promise to release all political prisoners. Following the December release, The Review Committee for the Release of Remaining Political Prisoners still held the assertion that there remained 33 political prisoners, a number that has already begun to increase in January. AAPP is a leading member of The Review Committee and there are still political prisoners to be released in the New Year. Because of erroneous declarations by government officials and an insistence that there are no more political prisoners in Burma, the role of The Review Committee will become increasingly important in fighting for their release.
Until these ongoing arrests are ended 2014 will not be the year that Burma’s jails become free of political activists. It has already begun with arrests under the same laws the December 30th Presidential order muted sentences for. While arrests for peaceful political activities continue, there will always be political prisoners in Burma.