The Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy Markus Löning issued the following statement today (8 October) on the renewed release of political prisoners in Myanmar:
I welcome the fact that the Government of Myanmar is continuing its policy of releasing political prisoners and I call upon President Thein Sein to carry out the pledge to release all political prisoners as soon as possible.
It is absolutely essential that members of the opposition are not detained again on political grounds.
The release bodes well for the resumed peace talks between the Government and the Kachin minority rebels.
Additional background information:
Myanmar has once again released political prisoners. According to the Government, most of the 56 individuals released are members of ethnic minorities, including 18 members of the Kachin minority. The Government resumed the suspended peace talks with the Kachin independence movement, which is struggling for more autonomy. Myanmar’s Government is engaged in talks with various rebel groups. In January 2012 for example, it signed a ceasefire agreement with a key guerrilla group, the Karen National Union.