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AI Japanese section
Forwarded by the Burma Coordinator of the Japanese AI - section, Hiroko
January 27, 1999
Major General Kyaw Win,
I am writing this letter on behalf of Amnesty International Japanese
Section. Since the set up of Amnesty International Japanese Section in
1970, we have been involved in various activities focusing primarily on
human rights realities of different countries in the world, strictly
maintaining an impartial and neutral stance. Currently we have
approximately 140 local groups, with more than ten thousands membership and
supporters throughout Japan. Moreover, we have over 120 members of the
all-party Diet (Japanese Parliament) group called "Amnesty Diet Group"
which supports Amnesty International aims.
For the past thirty years, we have continuously been active with regards to
the human rights situation in your country, with a particular emphasis
placed upon the 1988 suppression of the democratic movement. We daily
receive various enquiries on human rights conditions of different
countries, however those regarding Myanmar has been particularly numerous.
We consider this to be a reflection of the high degree of interest that
Japanese citizens hold over your country. The International Secretariat of
Amnesty International in London has been publishing a number of reports on
Myanmar, and in order to meet the demands of Japanese readers who have
strong interest in the country, we have been publishing on occasions the
Japanese versions of these reports. You may have come across them before,
however we would be extremely grateful if you could kindly take a look at
these enclosed reports.
What we are most concerned about lately is the fact that there has been no
improvement in the human rights condition of your country since August
1988. As I am sure you are well aware, those who seek democratisation, and
the members of the NLD have continuously been arrested and detained in
facilities that are of poor quality, despite the fact that their protests
have been non-violent. At times, they are known to have been tortured as
well. We have also heard that those prisoners who have fallen ill often do
not receive adequate medical care, and that many die during their
imprisonment. Furthermore, it is well-known not only the Amnesty reports
but also within the United Nations that there have been numerous cases of
severe forced labour imposed upon civilians, as well as military attacks
and forced transportation of ethnic minorities. For instance, Mr U Zaw
Tika, a Buddhist monk, was never allowed free from his leg shackles even
when he fell ill, and has been reported dead in prison in 1992, and a
female writer, Ms San San Nwe not only had the sale of her publication
prohibited, but has also been imprisoned. According to the research
conducted by Amnesty International, there are presumably several hundreds
of prisoners of conscience such as Ms San San Nwe.
Speaking from the humanitarian point of view, and with regards to the
universal protection of human rights, we would like to make a following
request to you personally:
* An immediate and unconditional release of prisoners of conscience who
have been arrested and/or detained for non-violent expression of their ideas.
* An immediate stop to torture, and an improvement of the in-prison
* An immediate and appropriate medical treatment to be given to those
prisoners who require it.
* A stop to the military attack and the forced transportation of ethnic
* A stop to the forced labour being imposed upon members of the general
We earnestly ask you to take quick measures for the requests made above,
upon your return to your country.
We wish you a good health in the coming future.
Amnesty International Japanese Section