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Prominent Burmese Activist Birthday in Prison

By Canadian Friends of Burma  •  October 18, 2011

“Dear Mr. President, release him as a birthday gift”, Zarganar, famous Burmese comedian, made the call at Min Ko Naing’s birthday event in Rangoon on Oct. 18, attended by hundreds of colleagues and friends including Burmese democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

Min Ko Naing, the most prominent student leader in the 1988 democracy uprisings in Burma and the second well-known political figure in the Burmese democracy movement, turns his 49th birthday in prison today. He is currently serving 65 years imprisonment for his leading role in the struggle for democracy and human rights in Burma, along with other leaders of ’88 Student Generation Group’.

He was first imprisoned in 1989 and released after serving 15 years in prison. He was arrested again in 2006 and sentenced to 65 years for his leading role. He has been honored a number of awards including John Humphrey Freedom Award by Canada’s international human rights organization, Rights and Democracy.

“There is no reason for the new Burmese government to continue to hold him and other political prisoners behind bars after claiming that Burma is moving towards a democratic country,” said Tin Maung Htoo, executive director of Canadian Friends of Burma.  “A recent release of 220 political prisoners appears to be a ploy to overcome international pressures including toughest economic sanctions from Canada,” he added.

CFOB strongly believes that there is no convincing ground and reason to lift or even lessen international pressures until and unless substantial reforms including the release of all political prisoners are realized in Burma.

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This post is in: Press Release

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