Statement on World Youth Day for Democracy

Release all student and youth political prisoners in Burma

October 18th, 2010

October 18 marks World Youth Day for Democracy, a day when
students and youth around the world stand in solidarity with young people imprisoned in Burma for taking part in pro-democracy activities. On this day, four student and youth alliances; are urging the international community to put pressure on the Burmese military regime to:

1. Release all students and youth political prisoners effective immediately, along with all other political prisoners.
2. Stop the oppression of democratic students and youth activists who are seeking freedom and human rights protection.
3. Stop attacks in the ethnic areas where students and youth have to face difficult situations.
4. Commence a dialogue with democratic and ethnic forces to stop the root causes of current problems, which brings hardship and injustice to students and youth in Burma.

Many political prisoners in Burma are students and youth. Young people often receive harsh punishments when they resist the dictatorship and some have been subjected to life-long imprisonment. Some have even been sentenced to more than 100 years in prison, simply because they participated in their university’s student union.
Young people’s thirst for democracy, freedom and human rights is great and many have risked their freedom when joining non-violent demonstrations against the military regime. Although, students and youth are the future of the nation, in Burma, they are subjected to the military dictatorship’s brutal and abusive practices. In many parts of the country, young people are deeply affected by increasing poverty. They lack educational opportunities and adequate healthcare. They often are forced to work as child laborers or are recruited to become child soldiers. Growing up in these dire conditions, they experience many human rights violations.
The upcoming November 7, 2010 elections have been designed to ensure the current military regime remains in power. We predict that the human rights situation of students, youth and all the people of Burma will only worsen after the elections.

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and democratic leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, appealed to the world to, “use your liberty to promote ours.” The All Burma Federation of Student Unions-Foreign Affairs Committee, Generation Wave, The Nationalities Youth Forum and the Student and Youth Congress of Burma are repeating her call to the international community. We urge you to support our demand to the Burmese military regime to free all student and youth political prisoners now.

For more information or to request an interview, please contact:

Thwin Linn Aung: + 66 (0) 878502354 (All Burma Federation of Student Unions-Foreign
Affairs Committee)
Aung Marm Oo: + 66 (0) 816736326 (Students and Youth Congress of Burma)

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