British Foreign Minister Stands With Burma’s Political Prisoners

Today an exclusive coup as British Foreign Minister Jeremy Browne joined the campaign to free Burma’s political prisoners. Standing with Amnesty UK Director, Kate Allen, he wrote the name of Mie Mie on his hand and stood to show his solidarity with the former political prisoners who are leading this campaign. Mie Mie @ Thin Thin Aye, a member of the 88 Generation Students, is currently detained in Katha prison serving a 65 years sentence. Kate Allen had the name of 88 Generation Student Htay Kywe written on her hand. He is also currently serving a 65 year sentence in Buthidaung prison.

Click on the Foreign Office website to read more.

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Caught on Camera: Burma’s Political Prisoners

Continuing the ongoing partnership with The Independent newspaper, a brief article and full gallery of images is posted on The Independent website ahead of the private view of the exhibition being held on Monday 21st June 2010 at Amnesty International UK headquarters in London. In total there are 21 portraits of former political prisoners that make up the exhibition at Amnesty International  – one for every year since Aung San Suu Kyi was first placed under house arrest.

You can read the article and view the exhibition images here: The Independent

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Zarganar. The Man The Junta Could Not Silence.

Late on Sunday 6th June I received an email from Htein Lin. It contained a new poem from his close friend Zarganar and was accompanied by an illustration from Htein Lin himself. It is a remarkably moving poem and illustration as well. The fact that Zarganar is in Myitkyina jail serving a 35 year sentence has done nothing to stem his creative ability. The few of us who were sent the poem were asked if we could publish it where possible, so I put it up here on this blog and sent it to my friend Andy Buncombe, South East Asia correspondent at The Independent (he had previously done the 5 page story in The Independent on Saturday magazine featuring U Win Tin). Three days and many phone calls later it was published in the newspaper, a double spread centrefold. A truely fitting tribute to an icon of modern times.

Zarganar. Your words are loud even though your voice may be silenced.

Below is the article as printed in The Independent – click HERE to read it online.

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Roll Cameras and Action… A Short Film in the Making

This project is now well and truely being taken to the masses on a global scale. Amnesty International UK are now fully on board with this political prisoner work and it’s set to become a major part of their campaign work for Burma and obviously that means creating a huge amount of awareness of the political prisoner issue. The idea remains sacred in that former political prisoners are leading the way in demanding the release of their colleagues currently detained. What we want the world to do now is stand with them.

The last three weeks have been hectic beyond belief planning and meeting people and we’ve decided to make a short film about the project to date and incorporate a message to ask the world to stand with Burma’s former political prisoners and take action to demand the release of all those currently detained. The film will be released in late June/early July but for now you can see some of the behind the scenes photographs where Waihnin Pwint Thon, daughter of 88 Generation Student leader Mya Aye, joins in the campaign by writing the name of her father on her hand and taking action to stand with the former political prisoners who are leading the way.

To view full gallery of images click HERE

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