For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
November 17, 2008
Statement by the Press Secretary on Burma
Burma: Continued Arbitrary Sentencing
In the last few days in Burma, Than Shwe's brutal regime arbitrarily sentenced additional pro-democracy activists to harsh prison terms. This brings the total number of persons convicted since November 7 to at least 86. Brave Burmese patriots such as Min Ko Naing, Ko Ko Gyi, and Htay Kywe, were among those who have been sentenced to 65 years' imprisonment for their peaceful participation in the August 2007 protests, in which Burmese citizens, including monks and activists, called on the regime to address the basic needs of the Burmese people.
The United States strongly condemns the regime's persistent repression of its people for exercising basic freedoms enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We further deplore the complete lack of due process, as these men and women have been arrested, detained, charged, and tried behind closed doors without the benefit of counsel. The international community and the United Nations Security Council must not remain silent as the regime demonstrates yet again its contempt for universal freedoms and its disdain for the international community's calls to release all political prisoners.
The United States will continue to stand with the people of Burma as they speak out against the junta's brutal actions.
# # #