Ahead of Blue Shirt Day, this briefing looks at the situation of political prisoners in Burma.
Two years since the NLD-led government took power, there are still political prisoners in jail and people are still being arrested because of their political activities or ethnicity. Repressive laws which are being used to intimidate, arrest and jail political activists remain in place and more laws have been introduced.
On the fourth anniversary of the death of U Win Tin, more than 100 political prisoners remain in jail, and over 100 more people are awaiting trial. Aung San Suu Kyi does not control the military but it is within her power to order the release of all political prisoners, and she does have the parliamentary majority needed to repeal repressive laws used to jail political prisoners.
U Win TIn
U Win Tin, a journalist and founding member of the National League for Democracy, was one of Burma’s longest serving political prisoners, describing his time in jail from 1989 until 2008 as living in hell. U Win Tin famously pledged to wear a blue shirt, the same colour shirt he had to wear in prison, until all political prisoners in Burma were released. He died on 21st April 2014 without seeing an end to the jailing of political prisoners.
Blue Shirt Day
On 21st April, people around the world will be wearing a blue shirt or blue clothing in memory of U Win Tin, who served nearly 20 years in jail as a political prisoner.
Please join Blue Shirt Day on Saturday 21st April. Wear blue, post pictures on social media, and remind the world that there are still political prisoners in Burma’s jails, and that they must be freed.
Post a picture of yourself on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #blueshirt4burma