Back in the ‘City of Angels’ for final preparations for the trip into Burma tomorrow – despite MBKs best efforts there’s no way my iPhone can be unblocked to work in Burma! The first of two meetings sees an early morning catch up with Ma Suu Mon Aye, the youngest female political prisoner who was jailed in 2000 at the age of 18. We manage to grab a few moments to chat early in the day in a park by Mo Chit station before heading to work – so often this is the case with this project. She spent 1 year in Insein Prison. Like so many she was forced to flee Burma after her release from jail and she currently lives in Bangkok where she is a journalist for Radio Free Asia. On her hand is written the name of her friend, a 25 year old fellow journalist, who was arrested on June 10th 2008 for photographing a demonstration of Cyclone Nargis victims outside the UN Development program office in Rangoon. Eine Khine Oo is the inaugural winner of the Kenji Nagai Award which Ma Suu Mon Aye collected on her friend’s behalf. Courage runs deep no matter how old or young. The afternoon was set aside for a meeting and interview with U Zin Linn, the veteran journalist, former political prisoner, vice-president of the Burma Media Association and Director of Media and Information for the NCGUB… amongst many other things. An incredible meeting. This was a real honour to be able to spend time with him and to hear first hand details of not only his own personal experience in Insein prison (including time spent with his colleague U Win Tin) but a hugely informative insight into the world of political prisoners. You can read the interview on this blog in the Interview section.
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