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Groups here fight for human rights in Burma

Originally appeared in The China Post

March 8, 2010

Human rights groups and women’s organizations in Taiwan yesterday urged the world community to reinforce support for Burmese women leaders who have been locked up for long jail terms for advocating democracy in the Indochinese country.

Supporters gathered near the Zhongxiao-Fuxing MRT station in Taipei on the eve of the International Women’s Day at a large-scale “5 X 65 event” organized by the Taiwan branch of International Amnesty, Taiwan Free Burma Network, and a dozen of other groups.

The “5 X 65 event” highlighted the plight of people promoting democracy and raised the question: 5 Burmese Women X 65 Years in Prison?

Khim Ohmar, leader of the Burma Partnership and the Free Burma Network managed to come to Taipei for the event from the Thai-Burmese border area.

In addition to pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who is still under house arrest by Burma’s military leaders, there are still many women leaders serving long terms of imprisonment for fighting for human rights, democracy and social justice.

They include Mar Mar Oo, Nilar Thein, Sandar Min, Thet Thet Aung, Thin Thin Aye (aka Mie Mie) with each sentenced to 65 years.

Khim said all of them were her partners during the democratic movement in the 1980s when they were mostly students engaged in advocating the democratic movements.

They have been imprisoned for more than 20 years since 1988 with many more years to come.

Khim and several female professors at universities in Taiwan said that the political prisoners and the general public will only sustain more sufferings if the military generals in Burma are condoned.

To help raise fund, organizers of the event and supporters arranged sales promotion of Burmese products, including Thanakha for beauty care, traditional Burmese dress Longyi, and other goods.

Music CD Free Burma, human rights literature, post cards, and other items were distributed to supporters and people taking the mass rapid transit trains.

This post is in: News Clip