Burma:

Poeten og komikeren Zargana løslatt

Zargana var en høylytt kritiker av regimet og ble dømt til 59 års fengsel etter å bidratt med hjelp til ofre etter syklonen Nargis i 2008. Dommen ble senere redusert til 35 år.

– Jeg er ikke glad. Jeg vil være glad og takke regjeringen først når alle mine venner også er løslatt, sier Zargana til den Oslo-baserte radiostasjonen Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB).

NRK nyheter rapporterer at 70 politiske fanger nå er løslatt og at Aung San Suu Kyi ønsker løslatelsene velkommen. Min Ko Naing, Burmas mest kjente politiske fange og leder for studentbevegelsen under opprøret i 1988, skal ikke være på listen over løslatte, blir det meldt.

Nyhetsbyrået Mizzima meldte i går at 300 av de rundt 6300 politiske fangene som er annonsert løslatt, angivelig skal bli løslatt i dag (12.10.11).

Den norske Burmakomité ønsker løslatelsene velkommen, men understreker i en pressemelding at alle politiske fanger bør løslates.

«Vi ønsker å se alle politiske fanger løslatt før vi snakker om reelle forandringer i Burma. Dette har vært et klart krav fra Aung San Suu Kyi og demokratibevegelsen. Det har vært flere positive signaler fra president Thein Sein de siste månedene, men det er viktig at det internasjonale samfunn står klart på særlig to krav: løslatelse av alle politiske fanger og nasjonal våpenhvile», sier Inger Lise Husøy, daglig leder i Den norske Burmakomité.

Burma: Zargana freed from prison

Authorities arrested Zargana in 2008 after he helped organize deliveries of aid to Cyclone Nargis survivors and then gave interviews to foreign media in which he criticized the government’s response to the deadly disaster, the Associated Press reports. The regime sentenced Zargana, who has long been a critic of Burma’s rulers, to 59 years in prison. His sentence was then reduced to 35 years.

«I have talked to him. He is free now,» Zargana’s sister-in-law, Ma Nyein, told AFP Wednesday. She said the family now expects him to fly home from Myitkyina in northern Kachin State.

The release of Zargana in Burma, which is also known as Myanmar, comes a day after state television announced an amnesty for 6,300 prisoners on humanitarian grounds. The announcement came hours after a government-appointed human rights panel called for a pardon for Burma’s political “prisoners of conscience.»

It had not been known whether the authorities would include in the release the approximately 2,000 political prisoners being held in Burma.

A column in the Guardian Tuesday argued that if the political prisoners were released it would be the result of a careful political and economic calculation made by the regime.

«It seems unlikely that [President] Thein Sein and his cronies have suddenly seen the moral light, or that they have finally bowed under the weight of western disapproval. If substantial numbers of political prisoners are released on Wednesday, it will be the result of some very hard-headed, unsentimental calculations,» Simon Tisdall writes.

«One is that Burma’s resource-rich economy, hobbled for years by dictatorship, isolation and under-investment, is set to take off, if western sanctions and restrictions are lifted.»

2008: Burma/Myanmar: Win Tin

September 11th 2008

Seniro General Than Shwe
C/o Ministry of Defence
Naypyitaw
Myanmar

Your Excellency

Win Tin

PEN International reports with alarm of their extreme concern over the health of veteran journalist and pro-democracy activist Win Tin, who has been imprisoned for over 19 years!
Reports suggest that his already poor health condition has worsened in the past few weeks.

PEN considers the cumulative sentences of over 20 years against Win Tin to be in violation of his right to freedom of expression and association as protected in the United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights and is calling the authorities to provide him with medical treatment and demands his immediate release on humanitarian grounds.

We urgently appeal to Your Excellency to act upon this request and to see to it that Win Tin is treated humanely and that he receives adequate medical attention.

Primarily we urge that he is released from prison unconditionally at the first possible occasion.

Yours sincerely

Aase Gjerdrum
member, Writers in Prison Committee, Norwegian PEN