|Political prisoners Ko Aung Min Naing (L) and Ko Yan Naing Tun (R) are seen in front of Insein Prison after being released, Yangon, Myanmar, December 31, 2013. Photo: Lynn Bo Bo/EPA|
The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners reports that as of the end of January, there were 213 activists awaiting trial and 159 political prisoners in Myanmar.
|Former political prisoner and activist, U Bo Kyi. Photo: Geneva Summit|
One of the clearest markers of progress on human rights improvements in Myanmar has been the release of hundreds of political prisoners by the government of President U Thein Sein since 2011. That progress has reversed starkly over the past year, as dozens of activists and protesters have been imprisoned.
|Myanmar continues to hold dozens of political prisoners. Here prisoners are released from Insein Prison as their family members wait outside following a government amnesty in Yangon, Myanmar, October 7, 2014. Photo: Nyein Chan Naing/EPA|
Amnesty International has welcomed the release of peaceful activist Dr Tun Aung, jailed for trying to prevent communal violence, but called on the Myanmar authorities to free the dozens of other prisoners of conscience still behind bars.
|The Assistance Association of Political Prisoners has relaunched its "hands campaign" highlighting the number and names of political prisoners who remain incarcerated in Myanmar. Photo collage: AAPP|
The hands are back. That is the message from the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners and Former Political Prisoners Society who are joining hands to use photos of people with prisoner names on outstretched palms as a reminder that well over 150 prisoners of conscience remain in jail in Myanmar.
Myanmar’s reform process is backsliding and the continued incarceration of political activist U Aung Soe and other political prisoners is proof of that, according to Burma Campaign UK.