January 09, 204
Kyaw Hla Aung is a human rights defender and a Rohingya community leader from Rakhine State who promotes minority rights in the country. On 15th July 2012, he was taken from his home in Sittwe. After his arrest, he was charged with three different counts, and transferred to Sittwe Prison.
When his trial began on 14 August 2013, four more counts were added to his case. He has now been charged with seven different counts, including under 505(b) of Statements Conducting to Public Mischief. The charges are politically motivated and his trial continues at Sittwe Court. He is suffering from high blood pressure and arthritis.
As part of the No Political Prisoner Left Behind campaign, Burma Campaign UK is highlighting a case of a political prisoner every month to draw attention to the hundreds of political prisoners who could still be in jail. The political prisoner for this month is Kyaw Hla Aung.
Thein Sein lied to David Cameron and broke his promise to free all political prisoners in Burma by the end of 2013. Despite his promise, he keeps many political prisoners in jail. Kyaw Hla Aung’s case is an example of how British government policy on Burma is not working. Burma Campaign UK today strongly urged David Cameron to put pressure on the military-backed government to secure the immediate and unconditional release of all remaining political prisoners in Burma.
A permanent and genuinely independent review mechanism with the involvement of international experts should be in place to investigate cases where people were jailed unjustly, and secure their immediate, unconditional release.
“Thein Sein proved that he can’t be trusted when he broke the promise to release all political prisoners by the end of 2013, and still keeps many activists in jail,” said Wai Hnin, Campaigns Officer at Burma Campaign UK. “It is time for David Cameron to step up public and private pressure to make sure that no political prisoner remains behind bars, rather than falling for Thein Sein’s empty promises.”