The more we work with human rights activists around the world, the more we become aware of the impact a simple message of solidarity can have. This summer, we are asking you to stand in solidarity with the many political prisoners in Burma today.
By adding your photo to our collection, you won't just be offering support to Burma's political prisoners. You will also be joining the brave individuals who, having been imprisoned for peaceful political action themselves, have already risked their freedom to stand in solidarity with those who remain in prison. These activists used this small act of defiance to show that they cannot be free while 2,200 others continue to be punished for legitimate protest.
IT COULDN'T BE MORE SIMPLE...
1. Read the list of cases below and decide which prisoner(s) you would like to support through this action
2. Write their name on your right hand (or get a friend to!).
3. Hold your right hand out, palm facing the camera.
4.Take a picture. Then either:
6. Email your picture to email@example.com/text it to +44(0)7733 134 670 and we will add it to the group for you
- Karenni youth activists
Khun Bedu, Khun Kawrio and Khun Dee De are all leading members of the activist group Kayan New Generation Youth (KGNY). They were arrested in May 2008 for organising a group of local dissidents to release balloons, launch paper boats and spray-paint walls with peaceful political messages.
Khun Bedu, 26, joined KGNY in 2004 and was appointed joint secretary three years later. He has been sentenced to 37 years and is detained in Taungoo prison. On arrival, he was put in solitary confinement and kept there for eight days.
Khun Dee De, 27, was involved in human rights education and youth activism as part of Kayah State Youth, an umbrella organisation under which KGNY sits. He was sentenced to 35 years in prison and is detained in Mandalay prison.
Khun Kawrio, 26, Joined KGNY in 2006 and worked as an activist and educator, specialising in human rights and democracy. He was sentenced to 37 years and is detained in Meiktila prison.
- The '88 Generation Students
Htay Kywe, Mie Mie and Zaw Htet Ko Ko are members of the pro-democracy group The 88 Generation Students. Set up in 2005, the group is inspired by the ideals of the pro democracy protests of 1988, and includes many of the leaders of that uprising. The three were arrested in 2007 for participating in mass anti-government protests that swept through Burma.
Htay Kywe, 42, was a student leader in the 1988 uprising. He served a 15 year sentence for his involvement. A co-founder of the 88 generation students group, Htay Kywe was sentenced to 65 years for his involvement in the 2007 protests.
Mie Mie, 40, participated in the 1988 protests while she was still in high school. In 2007, she led a women's movement march the day after prominent activists had been arrested for their role in the protests. Mie Mie was sentenced to 65 years for her involvement in the 2007 protests.
Zaw Htet Ko Ko, 29, is married with one child. During the government crackdown on the 2007 protests the authorities raided his home, threatening and harassing his family. Zaw Htet Htet Ko Ko was sentenced to 11 years for his involvement in those protests and is detained in Kyaukpyu prison.
- Zarganar, one of Burma's biggest comedians, is serving a 35-year prison sentence for leading a movement raising money for survivors of Cyclone Nargis. He was arrested after giving interviews to foreign journalists in which he criticised the Burmese government's handling of the relief situation.
- Labour activist Su Su Nway is serving an eight-and-a-half-year prison sentence for taking part in anti-government protests in 2007. She first came to prominence in 2004 as the first person in Burma to successfully prosecute local officials for imposing forced labour. She is in poor health and held in a prison one thousand kilometres from home.
p.s. All the photos will be collected and taken to the summit meeting of political leaders from Asia and Europe, in Brussels in October - the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM). Amnesty International will call on these leaders to press for freedom for Burma's political prisoners, and real human rights for Burma.
- Political leaders from Asia and Europe, in Brussels in October - the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM).
As John P said; To recognize the social solidarity of the human family brings with it the responsibility to build on what makes us one. This means promoting effectively and without exception the equal dignity of all as human beings endowed with certain fundamental and inalienable human rights. This touches all aspects of our individual life, as well as our life in the family, in the community in which we live, an in the world. Once we truly grasp that we are brothers and sisters in a common humanity, then we can shape our attitudes towards life in the light of the solidarity which makes us one. This is especially true in all that relates to the basic universal project: peace.
I ask you to stand in solidarity with Burma's political prisoners.
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