Burma’s April 1 by-elections are a crucial step toward assuring the international community that the country is making meaningful progress toward democratic reform. Freedom House welcomes the decision to allow foreign observers to monitor the election as a positive step toward safeguarding the transparency and legitimacy of the election process. However, we remain concerned about reports of fraud and harassment in the lead up to elections, including the March 23 deportation of Somsri Hananuntasuk, executive director of the Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL), a regional network of civil society organizations promoting democratization.
Freedom House urges member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and major trading partners - including India and China - to take immediate steps to impose targeted sanctions on Burma's military leaders.
Freedom House calls upon the Indian government to break its silence over the sham trial of Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and to pressure Rangoon to unconditionally release the Nobel peace laureate immediately.
Freedom House is deeply disturbed by Burma’s decision to put pro-democracy leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi on trial again and calls on the Association of South-East Asian Nations to pressure the Burmese government for her release.