Request submitted in open letter by members of the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission to the President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar

Mr. President,

1.         In a series of steps you have taken in fulfillment of the hopes of the people for good governance, clean government, flourishing of democratic practices, fundamental rights of citizens, rule of law, transparency and accountability, one perceptible step is the establishment of the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission on 5 September 2011. It is believed that its establishment is welcomed and supported by the people of Myanmar.

2.         The establishment of the Commission is based on the principles relating to the status of national institutions (Paris Principles) contained in United Nations General Assembly resolution A/RES/48/134. Our Commission is the fifth of its kind in the ten-member countries of ASEAN.

3.         Myanmar National Human Rights Commission is formed with a view to promoting and safeguarding fundamental rights of citizens enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. It is vested with the competence and responsibilities which include receiving complaints on violations of fundamental rights of citizens, investigating them and communicating its findings to the relevant departments and bodies of the Government for further action. Since its inception, the Commission is fully resolved to perform its responsibilities to promote and protect the fundamental rights of citizens.

4.         The establishment of the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission is meant to promote and protect the fundamental rights of citizens enshrined in the Constitution. It can also be regarded as fulfilling the hope and aspiration of the international community.

5.         Furthermore, the expectation of the Secretary-General of the United Nations and a number of countries is the release of what is referred to as “prisoners of conscience”. The Commission recognizes and appreciates the position of the Government that these are prisoners who have been sentenced to imprisonment for contravening the existing laws.

6.         The release of those prisoners, convicted for breach of the existing laws, who do not pose a threat to the stability of state and public tranquility in the interest of national races will enable them to participate in whatever way they can in the nation-building tasks.

7.         For these reasons, Myanmar National Human Rights Commission humbly requests the President, as a reflection of his magnanimity, to grant amnesty to those prisoners and release them from the prisons.

                                                  Respectfully

                                                          Sd/

                                                          (for) Members of Myanmar National Human Rights Commission

                                                               ( Win Mra )

                                                                  Chairman