Vigil to be held for deceased political prisoners

Vigil to be held for deceased political prisoners

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners-Burma (AAPP-B) is planning an event on 2 January to commemorate and honour political activists who have died behind the bars.

Tate Naing, the joint-secretary of the AAPP-B, said the event, to be held at the Royal Rose Hall in Rangoon, aims to provide moral support to the families of political prisoners who died during custody or interrogation since the nationwide uprising in 1988.

According to the group, 166 political prisoners have died in custody since 1988, 54 of whom will be commemorated for the first time at the event on Thursday.

The vigil comes after the Burmese government announced on Monday that it will release all remaining political prisoners in keeping with a promise President Thein Sein made during a visit to Europe earlier this year.

The list of detainees to be released includes 35 political activists and 20 ethnic villagers who were jailed for alleged connections to armed groups. Charges will be dropped against a further 200 persons, most of whom were arrested for protesting under Article 18 (the Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession Law) and Article 505(b) (sedition).

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