June 22, 2009

Media Release from Karen and Arakanese Communities Worldwide

A day of action will be held today for 34 freedom fighters from Burma whose trial resumes in Kolkata, India, today.

Arakan and Karen freedom fighters were lured to an Indian island by a rogue Indian intelligence officer, who executed 6 of them and charged the rest with terrorism.

Actions will take place in 6 countries and on 3 continents. Demonstrations will be held in UK, Thailand and Bangladesh, and letters handed in to embassies in Australia, Sweden, and Germany.

The 34 freedom fighters have been in jail since 1998 after they were betrayed by an Indian military intelligence officer who had offered them co-operation, lured them to India, and then accused them of terrorism. The Indian officer took a huge amount of money from the freedom fighters, killed six of their leaders in cold blood, and arrested the rest of them.

They were in jail without trial for 8 years, and the trial now has been going on for 2 years. The new session begins today.  If found guilty, they could be jailed for many more years, or could be deported where they could face persecution by the Burma’s military regime.

“This global day of action is to call on the Indian government to end the trial, release the freedom fighters, and allow them to resettle in a third country,” said May Pearl Tun, of the Karen Community Association UK.

The letter states: “Laws concerning terrorists should not be used against these people who have engaged only for their rights of freedom for their country. This case is very damaging India’s reputation. Today’s day of action is the start of new global campaign for the justice.”


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