The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) welcomes the release from prison today of Phyo Wai Aung on an amnesty. Mr. Phyo is a young engineer falsely accused, imprisoned and allegedly tortured over the April 2010 bombing attack that killed 10 people, seriously wounded 46 and injured 27 others. The organization calls for him and other freed victims of gross abuses of human rights in Burma to receive rehabilitation and redress.
His trial began on June 30th, 2010 when Burma was still under direct military dictatorship.
In a short statement posted on his Facebook page, Htet Wai Aung, the brother of Phyo Wai Aung, said: “My brother, Phyo Wai Aung, released by Burmese Government today.”
He thanked those organizations and individuals who supported his family’s struggle for justice for more than two years, adding that the family would still fight to have his brother’s conviction overturned, but that the amnesty would allow his brother “to get appropriate and effective treatment without any limitations.”
In May, the AHRC issued an open letter to the president of Burma calling for the release of Phyo Wai Aung from custody in order for him to receive medical treatment for serious illnesses. The Hong Kong-based regional rights group has been campaigning on the case since after his arrest in 2010.
“The release of Phyo Wai Aung on an amnesty is very welcome news,” Wong Kai Shing, the AHRC’s Executive Director, said. The release of Phyo Wai Aung coincides with a visit to Burma by a United Nations human rights expert with a mandate related to the country.
“It is further evidence that the authorities in Burma are responsive to calls from the international community for action on specific cases, and we hope that in future this trend will continue,” Wong remarked.
The AHRC Executive Director added that although Phyo Wai Aung’s release was an important achievement, his case spoke to a number of outstanding matters of concern for victims of human rights abuses freed from detention in Burma during recent times.
“Phyo Wai Aung, like other former wrongly detained and tortured persons, requires medical treatment, both physical and mental. At present, no arrangements exist for the rehabilitating of such persons, or the provision of other forms of redress for the wrongs they have suffered. This aspect of the release process now needs to become a priority in discussions that members of the international community have with authorities in Burma,” Wong said.