Assistant Secretary Michael H. Posner for Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor today urged the Burmese government for the unconditional release of remaining political prisoners.
At the roundtable in Burma, Mr. Posner cited that the United States welcome the release last month of more than 200 political prisoners.
“In our numerous discussions with those outside of government we heard about the continued detention of a large number of those whom we would consider to be political prisoners, including a number of long-term detainees.” -Mr. Posner
Mr. Posner stated that it was his first visit to Burma. He said he come away with a range of impressions. He said in the areas in democracy, human rights, and labor, he said the country has been associated for decades with ongoing and serious human rights abuses leading to economic and political isolation.
“In recent months the government, both the executive and the parliament, have taken a series of steps that reflect the beginning of a transformation, a transition.” -Mr. Posner
Mr. Posner stressed that ultimately the transition to a strong, sustainable democracy in this country rests with the Burmese people.
“We and other outsiders can provide support. But more critical is that the people in this country have the freedom to meet freely, to form non-governmental organizations that operate freely, political parties, labor unions and other civil society organizations. It depends on broad freedom of the press and the blogosphere.” -Mr. Posner