The Faces Behind The Names Behind The Scenes…Taking Action

Please join these two leading Burmese activists and take your portrait in solidarity with Burma’s Political Prisoners and submit it to Amnesty’s campaign

With the Amnesty International campaign now in full swing I can finally release these portraits of two of the people involved in this project, both joining in and taking action to stand along side Burma’s political prisoners (not my portrait of course – the most likely time you’ll get to see that will be if I ever get caught). With the public now submitting their own portraits by the hundreds as we speak, I am still continuing my work taking portraits of former political prisoners all over the world – that’s my role and my work, but what I ask of you is that you take your portrait like my two colleagues have done here.

As most of you will know if you’ve been reading any of the blog entries from around the world, there is one person who is fundamental to this project, traveling by my side, assisting in all aspects and without her help and involvement this campaign would not be where it is today.

Jacquelin San taking action for fellow Zoology student Mie Mie and Burma’s Political Prisoners
outside Number 10 Downing Street in London

Jacquelin San, affectionately named the Secretary General by our good friend Ko Than Win Htut at DVB, is pictured here joining in the public campaign and adding her voice to the hundreds who have already taken part in the past few days since the campaign was launched. She fled Burma in 2000 after the student demonstrations in Rangoon in the late 1990s where she was a second year Zoology student at RC1 and sat demonstrating with hundreds of her colleagues in the road at Hledan junction in December 1996. The portrait is taken outside Number 10 Downing Street in London, the home of the British Prime Minister. Taking this campaign message about Burma’s political prisoners to the front door of the man holding power in the UK is an extraordinary achievement. Mr Cameron you are next so please open the door.

Waihnin Pwint Thon takes action in the House of Commons with her
father’s name written on her hand

Another person who has played a hugely significant part in this campaign is Waihnin Pwint Thon, daughter of 88 Generation Student leader Ko Mya Aye who is currently jailed in Taunggyi prison in Shan State where he is suffering from extreme ill health. he is serving a 65 year sentence plus six months for his role in peaceful demonstrations in 2007. Waihnin has not only been involved in helping me with my work in many ways, but she is also a leading campaigner for Burma and political prisoners in the UK where she works for both Amnesty International and Burma Campaign UK. Above all else she is an inspiration to me. She speaks with courage and determination and her father whom she has not seen for over half of her life would be incredibly proud of her. By taking part in this campaign she is making a stand not just for her father but for all of her fathers colleagues and all of the people of Burma.

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EXCLUSIVE: David Miliband MP Stands in Solidarity with Burma’s Political Prisoners

British Shadow Foreign Secretary David Miliband MP has taken up the challenge from the Government (see Jeremy Browne’s portrait – ed) and continued his stance demanding the immediate and unconditional release of Burma’s political prisoners.

Shadow Foreign Secretary, David Miliband MP

Not only is he Shadow Foreign Secretary but also he is very likely to be the next leader of the labour party (and next prime minister sooner rather than later!). This time I got slightly longer than the 30 seconds I had with Jeremy Browne and so the shoot was great and he was very interested in the whole campaign. Thankfully he agreed to stand in the corridor outside his office and we got a great shot I think you’ll agree.

The importance of these photographs of these top politicians in the UK can’t be underestimated. This is not just another verbal statement that disappears off record no sooner than it is made. These portraits are more than just the usual statements of concern that are so routinely issued in time of need. These portraits go one step further – an unprecedented step further, whereby they are physically joining a campaign, standing alongside the very people who themselves have suffered at the hands of this brutal military regime.

Standing together we can and we will bring about change. Now it’s your turn to stand with us – visit Amnesty UK for all the details.

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