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Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 213773, tabled on 6 November 2014

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his Burmese counterpart on the release of Mr Brang Yung and Mr Lahpai Gam; and what steps he is taking to ensure that all political prisoners in Burma are released unconditionally.

Answered on

11 November 2014

I have raised specific political prisoner cases, but not these two individuals. Nevertheless, the cause of political prisoners has long been one the UK has championed, and it is one that we continue to raise at the highest levels. Most recently I raised our concerns with Deputy Foreign Minister Thant Kyaw in June, and both the Prime Minister, my right hon. Friend the Member for Witney (Mr Cameron) and the then Foreign Secretary, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague) discussed political prisoners with President Thein Sein during his visit to London last year.

We welcome the release of thousands of political prisoners under the current Burmese government. However, we remain very concerned by the continued arrests, detentions and sentencing of political activists and we continue to lobby for the unconditional release of all political prisoners. I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 28 October 2014, Official Report, Column 168, in which I stated clearly that "One Political Prisoner is one too many".

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