October 24, 2007

China urged to back UN Action

Campaigners around the world will today (Wednesday 24th October) mark twelve years of Aung San Suu Kyi’s incarceration by protesting outside Chinese embassies around the world.

In 12 cities, including London, Paris, Berlin, Brasilia, Bangkok, Washington DC and Toronto, campaigners will wear Aung San Suu Kyi masks, be shackled and dressed in the white cloth of Burmese political prisoners.

“Despite events of recent weeks we seem to be no nearer to gaining freedom for Aung San Suu Kyi or any of the other hundreds of political prisoners. The Burmese regime may be the jailer of Aung San Suu Kyi, but China holds the key to her release. China must now make it clear that they will support action to bring an end to this continued repression. Words are not enough to make the Junta change their minds,” said Zoya Phan, Campaign Director for Burma Campaign UK.

Campaigners are increasingly worried that the Burmese regime is succeeding in removing the crisis from the media spotlight by conducting their brutality out of public view.  Amnesty International will call on the UN to do more to protect detainees and activists will send messages of support to prisoners of conscience.

“Because the pictures have stopped coming out of Burma the media have turned away from this crisis. But the torture, the arrests and the killings all go on. The international community must refocus on this crisis and the UN must do more than issue statements of concern,” said Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty International UK.

As well as marking Aung San Suu Kyi’s twelfth year in imprisonment, today (Wednesday) also coincides with ‘UN Day’. The protests will urge action through the UN Security Council.

“Today is the UN’s 62nd birthday but there will be few people celebrating it in Burma. For too long the UN has watched as the people of Burma have been crushed by a brutal regime.  Now the UN has a real opportunity to prove its worth and use the momentum of recent weeks to support a genuine process of change,” said Myo Thien, a Burmese political prisoner who fled the country in 2003.
Editors Notes:

The coalition includes: Amnesty International UK, Burma Campaign UK, CSP, GMB, Hindu Council UK, ‘Support the Monks in Burma’ Facebook Group, TUC and Unison.

In London, the demonstration will take place at 12noon outside the Chinese embassy.  A photo opportunity will take place at 12:15, with 12 campaigners – one for each year of Aung Sang Suu Kyi’s detention – wearing Aung San Suu Kyi masks, shackled and dressed in the white cloth of Burmese political prisoners.


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