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Press briefing notes Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Myanmar: Political detainees

06 January 2023

A released prisoner unites with his family outside Insein Prison in Yangon, Myanmar on January 4, 2023  © Reuters

Delivered by

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Jeremy Laurence



The release of political prisoners in Myanmar is not only a relief to those unfairly detained, but also their families. Importantly, however, we take this opportunity to call for the release of the thousands of others who remain in detention for opposing military rule. Even as news emerged about the amnesty to mark the country's independence day, we continued to receive reports of people being detained for opposing military rule, many of whom have been subjected to torture and ill-treatment. Such detentions are not only intended to silence the junta’s critics, but are also designed to instil fear.

As we mark the 75th anniversary this year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the High Commissioner has called for an end to arbitrary detention once and for all. This week he called on governments and all detaining authorities globally to put the milestone Declaration into action by granting an amnesty, pardon or by simply releasing all those detained for exercising their rights.

The pathway out of Myanmar’s crisis is not by locking people up – it is by allowing them to freely, fully, and effectively participate in political life.

For more information and media requests, please contact:

In Geneva

Ravina Shamdasani +41 22 917 9169 / [email protected] or
Liz Throssell +41 22 917 9296 / [email protected] or
Jeremy Laurence +41 22 917 9383 / [email protected] or
Marta Hurtado +41 22 917 9466 / [email protected]

In Nairobi

Seif Magango - +254 788 343 897 / [email protected]

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