||[Nov. 13th, 2008|11:05 am]
News from Burma with regular updates
From the U.S. Campaign for Burma - over 100 peaceful activists sentenced to long prison terms. Petition to the United Nations to continue their activism on behalf of freeing the wrongly incarcerated in Burma. |
You might have already seen the articles on this in the Washington Post and New York Times.
Over the past few weeks, Burma's military regime has sentenced over 100 of the country's leading human rights activists to very long terms in prison. Most of those imprisoned are young, prominent human rights activists who participated in last year's Saffron Revolution in Burma (during which hundreds of thousands of monks took to the streets calling for an end to dictatorship in Burma).
Meanwhile, the military regime continues its attacks on ethnic minority civilians in eastern Burma, destroying 12 villages and driving 2,000 people from their homes in the past two weeks. The regime's scorched-earth ethnic cleansing campaign has forced over 1 million people to flee in recent years, and an additional 1/2 million who struggle to survive as internally displaced persons
We and others have been pressing governments around the world to take action. Already, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States have condemned the arrests. Two days ago, the European Union Foreign Ministers met and called for the release of all political prisoners.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is due to visit Burma in December, but there are fears he may back out of the visit because of the difficulties in negotiating with the regime. These prison sentences make it all the more important that Ban Ki-moon goes ahead with his visit. There have been 37 visits to Burma by low-level UN envoys, but things have only got worse. We need the Secretary General's personal engagement on Burma.
Take action. Please send an email to the UN Secretary General urging him to visit Burma and make the release of political prisoners his top priority.
Aung Din, Jeremy Woodrum, Jacqui Pilch, Jennifer Quigley, Mike Haack
Support 1991 Nobel Peace Prize recipient Aung San Suu Kyi and the struggle for freedom and democracy in Burma:
Amnesty International news update on the activists' prison sentences: http://www.amnestyusa.org/document.php?id=ENGUSA20081111001&lang=e
I encourage everyone to take part in Amnesty International write-a-thons near you, where people join together to write letters on behalf of nonviolent political prisoners in a coffeeshop or other public place. Most will take place Saturday Dec 13th, the weekend closest to International Human Rights Day on Dec 10th. For more information you may click here:
There is most likely already an event in your neighborhood - these are drop in and materials are provided, just show up with a pen and a loving heart. You may search by zip code for events in your area.
I'll be at the event at San Lorenzo's Frodo Joe's Coffee - most likely sometime in the midafternoon.