April 30, 2015

Burma Campaign UK today called for the immediate and unconditional release of two union leaders, Naing Htay Lwin and Myo Min Min. They were arrested in February 2015 for protesting without the Burmese government’s permission.

Naing Htay lwin and Myo Min Min are two union leaders from Rangoon who work in garment factories. Garment workers in Rangoon are protesting over pay and working conditions in their factories. An average garment worker gets paid only 43 US cents an hour. To make ends meet, they have to do two days overtime, meaning they often work 7 days a week.

Workers have demanded an increase of  $1 a day so that they can support their families better.

Naing Htay Lwin and Myo Min Min are two protest 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 charged under Article 18 of the Peaceful Procession Law, and under section 505 (b) of Burma’s penal code for “committing or inducing others to commit an offence against the State or against the public tranquillity.” They are being held in Insein Prison while their trials continue.

If they are convicted, they could face up to three years in prison. Garment workers continue their protests calling for a pay rise and the release of their protest leaders, Naing Htay Lwin and Myo Min Min.

Burma Campaign UK is asking supporters to write to the Chairperson of the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission to call for the reform of the Prisoners of Conscience Affairs Committee, and the immediate release of Naing Htay Lwin, Myo Min Min and all remaining political prisoners in Burma.

“Workers have the right to demand fair wages without getting arrested. The reform process in Burma is backsliding, and activists continue to live in fear of arrest, torture and harassment by the military-backed government,” said Wai Hnin, Campaigns Officer at Burma Campaign UK. “The Burmese government should introduce key reforms to the Prisoners of Conscience Affairs Committee to ensure that no political prisoners like Naing Htay Lwin and Myo Min Min are left behind bars.”

Action can be taken here.

More information on reforms to the Prisoners of Conscience Affairs Committee is available here.


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