I am so excited to be able to write to you today to let you know that around 180 political prisoners in Burma have been released in the last two weeks. Thank you very much for your great support to free all political prisoners in Burma.
Burma Campaign UK was established after the military regime refused to accept the election result in 1990. Now at last, after years of campaigning in Burma and internationally, there is an NLD-led government that the people of Burma have voted for. And already we are seeing positive changes, with political prisoners starting to be released.
I am so excited that some political prisoners are being released, and being reunited with their family members. These releases show that campaigning does work. However, there are many political prisoners remaining in jail. For example, Kachin farmer Lahpai Gam, who was sentenced to 20 years in jail under false accusations, is still in jail. It is very important that people like Lahpai Gam are not forgotten.
If we draw the attention of the NLD-led government to the remaining political prisoners, hopefully they will also be released. So we are going to continue our campaigns for the release of all remaining political prisoners in Burma so they can also go home and be with their families. We still need your help to make that happen.
Released political prisoners who we campaigned for include:
Released! A prominent woman activist, Naw Ohn Hla, was arrested for protesting outside the Chinese Embassy in Rangoon. She was sentenced to 6 years and 2 months with hard labour in Insein Prison in Rangoon.
Released! Htin Lin Oo is a writer and a former Information Officer from the National League for Democracy (NLD). On 23rd October 2014, he gave a speech at a literary event in Chaung-U Township in Northern Burma. During his speech he criticised the use of Buddhism to promote discrimination and prejudice in the country. He was sentenced to 2 years in prison.
Released! Naing Htay Lwin and Myo Min Min are two union leaders who were arrested for organising protests calling for a pay rise of $1 a day. They were arrested for protesting without permission, and they were also falsely accused of advocating violence during protests. They were sentenced to 2 years and 6 months in prison.
Released! Aung Soe is a member of Yangon People's Support Network and a former political prisoner. He has been arrested numerous times for his peaceful activities. In 2013, he was arrested and sentenced to eleven and a half years in prison for his part organising protests with farmers to plough land which had been confiscated by the Burmese government.
Released! Htin Kyaw, a human rights activist, has been repeatedly arrested and jailed for his peaceful political activities. He was arrested on 5th May 2014, and charged under two different counts including under Article 18 of the Peaceful Assembly Law. He was sentenced to 13 years and 6 months in Insein prison.
Released! Nilar Thein was arrested by police for allegedly supporting student protests against the controversial Education Bill last year. Nilar Thein was charged under Article 18 of the Peaceful Procession Law. She was on trial while being remained in detention.
Your support has made a real difference for these political prisoners. If we draw the attention of the NLD-led government to the remaining political prisoners, hopefully they will also be released. Please help us for the release of all remaining political prisoners in Burma. We will email you soon with new actions for the political prisoners.