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Myanmar Opposition Must Be Free to Fight Elections

LONDON - Amnesty International urges Myanmar to
overturn a new law that bars all political prisoners, including
detained Nobel Peace-prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, from belonging to a
political party before upcoming national elections.

“There are at least 2,200 political prisoners in Myanmar, most of
whom are in prison simply because they tried to exercise their rights
peacefully,” said Benjamin Zawacki, Amnesty International’s Myanmar

“Instead of passing laws that strip away more of their rights, the
Myanmar authorities should immediately release all political prisoners,
including Aung San Suu Kyi, and remove restrictions on their political

Aung San Suu Kyi was already blocked from running in the elections
by the 2008 constitution, which ruled that marriage to a foreign
national would exclude candidates from running.

“Amnesty International is greatly concerned that activists are going
to come under increased repression in the lead up to the elections,”
said Benjamin Zawacki. “The Myanmar authorities seem determined to
stamp out any political challenge to their rule.”

In a recent report, Repression of ethnic minority activists in
Myanmar, Amnesty International documented the government’s systematic
efforts to silence activists from the country’s large ethnic minority
population. The report warned the election may lead to an even harder
crackdown against activists.

The report can be found on the Amnesty International website at:


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Amnesty International is a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights for all. Our supporters are outraged by human rights abuses but inspired by hope for a better world - so we work to improve human rights through campaigning and international solidarity. We have more than 2.2 million members and subscribers in more than 150 countries and regions and we coordinate this support to act for justice on a wide range of issues.

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