Press release

FCO Minister welcomes Burma political prisoner release

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Foreign Office Minister for South East Asia, Hugo Swire welcomed the Burmese government’s release of political prisoners announced today.

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Mr Swire said:

The UK warmly welcomes the Burmese government’s release of political prisoners today. This is a further step towards fulfilling the commitment made by Burmese President Thein Sein during his visit to the UK last week to release all remaining prisoners of conscience by the end of this year.

At the same time we remain concerned by the continued arrests, detentions and sentencing of political activists in Burma, including the most recent arrest of activists associated with civil society organisation Generation Wave. Such actions are not in line with Burma’s wider positive reforms. We call on the government to ensure that democratic activists are able to voice their opinions freely and without fear of arrest. We urge both the government and the parliament to repeal all existing laws which are not in line with democratic standards.

The UK remains committed to supporting the democratic transition taking place in Burma. Yesterday, the UK supported the adoption of an EU Comprehensive Framework, which, among other things, sets out plans for an EU-Burma Human Rights dialogue with the Burmese government. This will form a key component of the EU’s continued commitment to addressing the human rights situation in Burma. We want this to be established quickly.

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Published 23 July 2013