Happy Birthday Zarganar

Comedian. Actor. Director. Political Prisoner

Today Zarganar @ Maung Thura celebrates his 49th birthday as one of Burma’s most prominent political prisoners. Born on 27th January 1961 in Rangoon, Zarganar (Zar Ga Nar / Zargana) is not only one of Burma’s most famous comedians, film director and actor, but he is also one of the most fierce critics of the ruling military regime. He is currently serving a 35 year sentence for his role in both publicly criticising the military regime’s response to Cylcone Nargis as well as for his involvement in leading a group of entertainers in distributing private aid deliveries to cyclone affected areas and its victims. He was arrested on teh evening of 4th June having been previously detained 4 times already. He was sentenced to 45 years in prison on 21 November 2008 for violating the Electronics Act, and received an additional 14-year prison term on 27 November for offences under four sections of the criminal code – 17/2, 32 (b), 295 (a) and 505 (b) – for his peaceful opposition activities, bringing the total sentence to 59 years in prison. This total of 59 years in prison later commuted to 35 years.

He is currently detained in Myitkina prison in Kachin State and is suffering from extreme ill-health.

This is Htein Lin, friend of Zargana and former political prisoner. He was detained for 6 years in Insein, Mandalay and Myaungmya prisons.

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