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Burma: Political Prisoners

Volume 487: debated on Thursday 29 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received on the access of Red Cross officials to political prisoners in Burma following the partial lifting of restrictions by the government of Burma; and if he will make a statement. (250944)

We have received no reports that the International Committee of the Red Cross has been permitted to visit any political prisoners since 2005, despite our consistent calls for this much needed access through the Security Council, UN human rights bodies, the EU and directly to the Burmese authorities.

Over 200 opposition activists have been given severe sentences since November 2008, some with prison terms of up to 105 years, and placed in prisons in remote parts of the country away from the support of their families. This brings the total number of political prisoners in Burma to over 2,200.