1. The Myanmar National Human Rights Commission whole-heartedly welcomes the issuance of Presidential Pardon under order No. 51/2013 dated 30 December 2013 of the President Office.
2. The Committee for Scrutinizing the Remaining Political Prisoners comprising 19 Members from government organizations, civil society organizations and political parties issued its work progress report by Press Release (1/2013) dated 31 December 2013 and the Commission recognizes the efforts of the Committee.
3. The President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar mentioned, in his speech delivered to the people over the radio on 2 January 2014, that he had acted in keeping with his promise to release all political prisoners by the end of 2013. The implementation by the President of his promise conforms with the notion that there should be no such people as political prisoners in democratization process.
4. The Myanmar National Human Rights Commission had submitted open letters to the President two times to seriously consider the granting of amnesty to those who had been imprisoned in various prisons in Myanmar and to release them from those prisons. Those open letters were issued on 10 October and 12 November 2011 respectively. After the submission of appeals by the Commission, the President, through a Presidential amnesty order, reduced the prison terms of some prisoners and released the prisoners from various prisons. The Myanmar National Human Rights Commission, in its Statement issued on 14 January 2012, welcomed the release of prisoners and strongly urged those who had been released from respective prisons to take part in building national unity and a democratic state peacefully and in whatever way they can in view of the President’s magnanimity.
5. Since the President granted the pardon in order to contribute to the stability of the State and the lasting peace, to build national reconsolidation, to ensure all- inclusiveness in the political process and on humanitarian grounds, the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission wishes to strongly urge those who have been released from various prisons to contribute to the process in conformity with the objectives of the President.
6. As the Government is making efforts to build a democratic state, the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission would like to recommend that among the existing laws and provisions, the amending, revoking, strengthening and redrafting as necessary of the laws and provisions which may impede the democratization should be given serious consideration without endangering the stability of the State and the public peace and tranquility.
Myanmar National Human Rights Commission
Date- 3 January 2014