Amnesty International Cautiously Welcomes Release of Some Political Prisoners, but Continues to Call on Myanmar to Stop Brutalizing its Ethnic Minorities

Press Release
July 3, 2012

Amnesty International Cautiously Welcomes Release of Some Political Prisoners, but Continues to Call on Myanmar to Stop Brutalizing its Ethnic Minorities

Human rights organization urges U.S. government not to ignore abuses in rush to normalize relations

Contact: Sharon Singh, ssingh@aiusa.org, 202-675-8579, @spksingh

(Washington, D.C.) -- Frank Jannuzi, the head of Amnesty International’s Washington office, issued the following statement in response to the release of a group of political prisoners from Insein prison in Yangon, Myanmar today:

"Amnesty International welcomes the release of some political prisoners, but it is shameful that the Myanmar government continues to incarcerate hundreds of its citizens just for exercising their basic rights to freedom of expression and assembly. All prisoners of conscience must be released immediately."

"The spotlight shone on Aung San Suu Kyi and other members of the political opposition must now be directed to the suffering of Myanmar’s ethnic minorities. In its rush to improve diplomatic and business relations, the United States must not allow the continued plight of the Rohingyas, Kachin and other ethnic minorities to be swept aside.”

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.