Switzerland appeals to release all Political Prisoners in Myanmar

Bern, Press release, 15.05.2009

The Swiss government is concerned about reports of deterioration in the state of health of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her transfer to a prison. The Swiss Government appeals to the Government of Myanmar to release immediately and unconditionally all political prisoners in the country, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

Respect for human rights is a fundamental condition for achieving the rule of law, national reconciliation and democracy. The Government of Switzerland is seriously concerned that persons continue to be arrested and imprisoned in the Union of Myanmar solely on account of their peaceful exercise of the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly, or solely on the basis of their peaceful political activities. Switzerland deplores the fact that the number of political prisoners has increased in the last two years and today totals over 2000. This practice constitutes a serious violation of international human rights law and is having generally adverse effects on peace and national reconciliation in Myanmar. 

Some years ago the Swiss Government took note with interest of the announced roadmap to democracy. However, despite the recent adoption of a constitution and the announcement of elections in 2010, the Swiss Government deeply regrets that the Government of Myanmar has not followed up the roadmap with convincing measures to strengthen and sustain its credibility.  

The Swiss Government appeals to the Government of Myanmar to enter into serious and systematic cooperation with the United Nations with a view to improving compliance with human rights in the country.


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