POLITICAL PRISONER DEFINITION
AAPP defines a political prisoner as anyone who is arrested because of his or her perceived or real active involvement or supporting role in political movements with peaceful or resistant means. AAPP maintains that the motivation behind the arrest of every individual in AAPP’s database is a political motivation, regardless of the laws they have been sentenced under.
To distinguish political prisoners from criminal offenders, AAPP considers the individual’s actions rather than their alleged charges. In short, the motivation behind the arrest must be political. AAPP welcomes the release of all remaining political prisoners, but in the absence of the rule of law, in the face of an impartial judiciary, and laws that criminalize basic civil and political rights, political activists as well as ordinary people will face the ongoing threat of arrest. If the administration is to grant a general amnesty, it must include the unconditional release of political prisoners and a wiping of their criminal records.
Note: AAPP is aware of the false, tenuous, or trumped-up criminal charges used to imprison political activists, journalists, students, and those in real or perceived opposition to past and current regimes. AAPP does not decide political prisoner status based on the laws individuals are arrested, charged, or sentenced under. Further, in support of the national reconciliation process and a genuine democratic transition, AAPP does not discriminate against those who participated in the armed struggle or were wrongfully convicted with criminal charges. AAPP uses the term political prisoner as a blanket phrase for all those who have been imprisoned for participating in the struggle for democracy and national reconciliation.
AAPP and FPPS Press on the Definition of a Political Prisoner (2014)
The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners and the Former Political Prisoners Society sponsored a joint seminar on August 17thand 18th that sought to establish a working definition of a political prisoner. The seminar received 50 attendees, including representatives from political parties and human right groups, solicitors, former political prisoners and delegates from FIDH and the International Centre for Transitional Justice. The following is the definition that was agreed upon by those in attendance at the seminar.
The Definition of a Political Prisoner
- Anyone who is arrested, detained, or imprisoned for political reasons under political charges or wrongfully under criminal and civil charges because of his or her perceived or known active role, perceived or known supporting role, or in association with activities promoting freedom, justice, equality, human rights, and civil and political rights, including ethnic rights, is defined as a political prisoner.
- The above definition relates to anyone who is arrested, detained, or imprisoned because of his or her perceived or known active role, perceived or known supporting role, or in association with political activities (including armed resistance but excluding terrorist activities), in forming organizations, both individually and collectively, making public speeches, expressing beliefs, organizing or initiating movements through writing, publishing, or distributing documents, or participating in peaceful demonstrations to express dissent and denunciation against the stature and activities of both the Union and state level executive, legislative, judicial, or other administrative bodies established under the constitution or under any previously existing law.
The seminar sought to create a unified definition of what it means to be a political prisoner. The need for a government agreed definition of this status is still as important as ever. Without this ratified definition, the existence of political prisoners can continue to be vehemently denied. Support for the discussion of this definition is extremely important to ensure the recognition of basic civil liberties and human rights for the people of Burma.
There is strong support for the drafting of this definition and a firm belief that its creation is the next essential step towards true political freedom and the recognition of basic civil liberties in Burma. AAPP, FPPS and our colleagues will continue to advocate for the discussion of this definition at a parliamentary level and for an official recognition of the existence of political prisoners in Burma.
The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma)
The Former Political Prisoners Society
Download link for Definition of Political Prisoners AAPP-and-FPPS-Press-on-the-Definition-of-a-Political-Prisoner
မည္သူမဆို၊ မည္သည့္အေၾကာင္းေၾကာင့္ျဖစ္ေစ လြတ္လပ္မႈ၊ တရားမွ်တမႈ၊ တန္းတူညီမွ်မႈ၊ လူ႔အခြင့္ အေရးႏွင့္ တိုင္းရင္းသားအားလံုး ပါ၀င္သည့္ ႏိုင္ငံသားအခြင့္အေရးတို႔အတြက္ တိုက္ရိုက္ျဖစ္ေစ၊ သြယ္၀ိုက္ ၍ျဖစ္ေစ လႈပ္ရွားေဆာင္ရြက္ျခင္း၊ အားေပးကူညီျခင္း၊ ပူးေပါင္းၾကံစည္ပါ၀င္ျခင္း၊ ဆက္စပ္ပတ္သက္ျခင္း တို႔ေၾကာင့္ ႏိုင္ငံေရးရည္ရြယ္ခ်က္ျဖင့္ ျပစ္မႈေၾကာင္းအရျဖစ္ေစ၊ တရားမေၾကာင္းအရျဖစ္ေစ ဖမ္းဆီး၊ ထိန္းသိမ္း၊ ျပစ္ဒဏ္ခ်မွတ္ခံရသူမ်ား အားလံုးကိုလည္းေကာင္း၊
ထ႔ိုအျပင္ ဖြဲ႔စည္းပံုအေျခခံဥပေဒ အရျဖစ္ေစ၊ ဥပေဒတစ္ ရပ္ရပ္ အရျဖစ္ေစ၊ ဖြဲ႔စည္းေပၚေပါက္လာေသာ မ႑ိဳင္ (၃)ရပ္ႏွင့္ လုပ္ငန္းအဖြဲ႔မ်ား (သို႔မဟုတ္) ျပည္ေထာင္စုအဖဲြ႔၀င္ လုပ္ငန္းအဖြဲ႔မ်ား၏ ရပ္တည္ခ်က္၊ ေဆာင္ရြက္ခ်က္မ်ားအေပၚ နည္းလမ္းအမ်ိဳးမ်ိဳးျဖင့္ တစ္ဦးခ်င္းျဖစ္ေစ၊ စုေပါင္း၍ျဖစ္ေစ၊ ကန္႔ကြက္ျခင္း၊ ေဟာေျပာျခင္း၊ ေရးသားပံုႏွိပ္ ထုတ္ေ၀ျဖန္႔ခ်ီျခင္း၊ ဆႏၵထုတ္ေဖၚျခင္း၊ မေက်နပ္ေၾကာင္း၊ ကန္႔ကြက္ ေၾကာင္းကို အျခားပံုသ႑ာန္ တစ္ခုခုျဖင့္လႈပ္ရွားေဆာင္ရြက္ျခင္း၊ အားေပးကူညီျခင္း၊ ပူးေပါင္းၾကံစည္ျခင္း ဆက္စပ္ပတ္သက္ျခင္း စသည္တို႔ေၾကာင့္ ျပစ္မႈေၾကာင္းအရျဖစ္ေစ၊ တရားမေၾကာင္းအရျဖစ္ေစ ဖမ္းဆီး၊ ထိန္းသိမ္း၊ ျပစ္ဒဏ္ခ်မွတ္ခံရသူမ်ား အားလံုးကို လည္းေကာင္း