May 2011 AAPP Monthly Chronology
Summary of current situation
There are a total of 1992 political prisoners in Burma. In June, 77 political prisoners were released.
Since the protests in September 2007 leading to September’s Saffron Revolution, a total of 847* activists have been arrested and are still in detention.
Monthly Trend Analysis
During the month of May, 77 political prisoners were released.
On 16 May, President Thein Sein announced a general prison amnesty under order 28/2011, which saw the commuting of death sentences to life and a one-year reduction in jail terms. The so-called amnesty was not motivated by a genuine political will, however, as evidenced in the 58 political prisoners who were released, out of a total 14,600 prisoners. For example, of 112 prisoners were released from Kawthaung prison under the latest amnesty, only one was a political prisoner. Further, the majority of those released were serving sentences of under 7 years that were nearing the end, with the exception of two, Saw Myint and Than Kyaw, both serving jail terms of 25 years. Many political prisoners continue to serve unduly harsh and extreme prison terms; over 200 political prisoners are serving 20-50 year sentences, 54 people are serving 51-106 year sentences, and 91 political prisoners are serving life sentences.
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