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(3 January 2014) - Today, the Kachin National Organization (KNO) expressed concern that the Burmese government is continuing to arrest and sentence fellow Kachins for their political belief at alarmingly high rates in Kachin State despite the Burmese government declared sweeping amnesty on Tuesday 31st December 2013 that it would have “no more political prisoners” by year-end.

Although, The Kachin National Organisation welcomes the release of some political prisoners, but Ms Bawk Ja Lum Nyoi, a prominent land rights activist and head of the National Democratic Force (NDF) party in Kachin State, is still in jail since she was arrested on July 18, 2013 with politically motivated case to handicap her political career.

Many innocent Kachin Internal Displaced People (IDPs) from displacement camps along the Burmese government controlled administrative town in Kachin State were being arrested and sentenced with falsely accused cases in Kachin State by Burmese Military Command influence Court in Myitkyina, Kachin State.

Two Kachin IDPs, Brang Yung and Lahpai Gam, had their sentences increased from 2 to 7 years in jail on Thursday 19th December 2013. They had already served 2 years sentence before their sentence have been unlawfully extended. Likewise, La Ring and Zau Bawk are still in the police custody, waiting to hear their final verdict for accusing to support the Kachin Independence Army. 

Since the Myitkyina Court has powerless to practice the rule of law, the Northern Military Command Office ordered to predetermine political sensitive cases and its verdicts, according to the local people.

“We cannot find the mutual trust with the Thein Sein’s Government, if The Burmese Government is still using the article 17/1, the Unlawful Association Acts to arrest innocent Kachin nationalities. I am very please for the families of political prisoners who have been released, but we must remind ourselves that they should not be in the prison at the first place. International communities must understand and standing up for ‘conditional release term’ and condemn the Burmese Government’s the release and re-arrest policy. I would like to request the EU Foreign Policy Chief, Catherine Ashton to put pressure on President Thein Sein to release all the Kachin Political prisoners ”, said Mr. Hkanhpa Tu Sadan, General Secretary of Kachin National Council (KNC), Kachin National Organisation.

The Burma’s political reform and transition to democracy must be inclusive. For media contact:

1). Mr. Hkanhpa Sadan, General Secretary, Kachin National Council, Kachin National Organization (KNO) Phone: 0044 7944 240 774

2). Ms. Lashi Kai Htang, Deputy Foreign Affairs of The Kachin National Organization (KNO) Phone: 0044 7920 826 694

Click to view PDF of statement

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