Activists work on ‘political prisoner’ definition
The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), Former Political Prisoners Society (FPPS) and MPs are seeking ways of defining the term ‘political prisoner’, Bo Kyi of the AAPP said on May 28.
The AAPP and the FPPS are now collecting data about former political prisoners.
The AAPP, FPPS, political parties and civil society organisations held a workshop on the definition of ‘political prisoner’ in Yangon in August 2014.
Anyone arrested, charged or sentenced for directly or indirectly supporting movements for freedom, justice, equality or human rights, or for participating in demonstrations or other forms of dissent against the government, would be considered a political prisoner, it was decided.
A person arrested and imprisoned for activities motivated by their belief that government decisions or performance did not serve the public interest – such as publishing or making speeches – may also be defined as a political prisoner, the draft says.
There were 157 political prisoners held across the country at the end of April and more than 450 political activists faced charges, the AAPP said.