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Thank you for your recent queries about AI's position on the 2010 polls in Myanmar and what our plans are around the elections. The purpose of this e-mail is to explain AI's position on elections, election monitors and more specifically, how we are approaching the 2010 polls in Myanmar.
AI does not take a position on democracy per se. Neither does it call for elections nor does it call for a boycott of/condemn elections in any particular country.
On the question of election monitors, AI neither calls for nor rejects them in any elections. This is a logical extension of the organization’s non-position on what constitutes a free and fair election (because, amongst other reasons, of the difficulty in defining "free" and "fair" and because of the inability of AI to monitor elections). However, reflecting its concerns that human rights are particularly at threat in the election period, AI can and does call for election monitors to have a human rights component. Alternatively AI can call directly for human rights monitors. The precise approach will very much depend on the context.
Regarding the 2010 polls in Myanmar, what we'll focus on are:
Our principled objection to the constitution remains a valid stance, because it codifies impunity and offers no human rights protections. We're on record with that line but we don't wish to continue to invest too much energy - and if I may, political capital - in the anti-constitution campaigning from nearly a year ago, since it's now pretty much a lost cause. The reality with the 2010 elections is that everyone from China to ASEAN to the UK and USA has accepted that the elections are going to happen next year and that's the situation that we have to work with. The elections are the only game in town.
The way for us to approach the 2010 elections is therefore to focus on POCs and the implications of there being such a large imprisoned political opposition in the country. We'll call on the authorities to lift restrictions on political parties and to respect people's rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association. We'll be working with our sources to monitor incidents of what are likely to be wide-ranging human rights abuses (probably similar to those commited around the constitutional referendum last year) in the context of the elections and any information we collect may generate new campaigning actions. The major research we're now undertaking on the persecution of ethnic political activists will also look at those who are getting into trouble with the authorities over the elections.
Haider Kikabhoy/I.S./Amnesty International – 02/04/2009
Letzte inhaltliche Änderung: 04.11.2010 12:54 Uhr