Prisoner Number 95: Insein Prison 1990-1992

Daw Nita Yin Yin MayDaw Nita Yin Yin May became the 95th former political prisoner from Burma to be photographed. During the 1988 uprisings Daw Nita Yin Yin May worked as an information officer at the British Embassy in Rangoon where she was responsible for collecting information on Burmese political situations and reporting back to the British Embassy. Continually being harassed and often arrested by the military regime, in November 1990 she was arrested for a final time when General Khin Nyunt gave a letter to the NLD outlining prohibitions against them – Daw Nita was accused of leaking the details of that letter and was immediately sentenced to 3 years imprisonment charged with “committing acts of high treason”.

After only a few days in Insein prison, Daw Nita realised she was pregnant and in June 1991 she went through the most harrowing experience of child-birth imagineable whilst being detained as political prisoner. She was then faced with the heartbreaking decision of leaving her son with her family on the outside whilst she served the remaining 9 months of her sentence before being released in 1992.

She fled Burma in the mid 1990s to Bangkok, Australia and finally to the UK and in 1997 her courage and suffering were honoured when she was awarded an OBE. She now lives here in London working as a highly esteemed and hugely respected senior producer at the Burmese section of the BBC World Service.

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