a political prisoner as: “any individual who is detained or being legally punished for participating in various forms of political activity due to a belief that it would serve the interest of the country and its people or that the people are suffering, and any individual persecuted by a government or a government authority with a political motive.”

The term also refers to individuals incarcerated for having alleged connections with non-state armed groups.

The conference was organised by the government-backed Committee to Verify Remaining Political Prisoners.

The committee’s mandate is to legally define what constitutes a political prisoner. The critieria will then be used to evaluate incarcerated individuals within Burma’s prison system.

According to AAPP-B, there are still 222 political prisoners in Burma.

However, this figure does not take into consideration individuals who were incarcerated in Kachin state in the past year for violating the draconian Unlawful Association Act or residents who were arbitrarily arrested in Arakan state during the two episodes of communal violence last year

2013.03.15 DVB