Background Information

Naw Ohn Hla, a leading ethnic Karen activist, was arrested on 9 September 2019. She has been charged under the Peaceful Assembly Act for organising a peaceful event to mark Karen Martys Day, after the authorities had banned the use of the word ‘Martyr’.

Help us put pressure on the government of Burma to immediately drop charges against Naw Ohn Hla and the two other organisers of the Karen Martyrs Day event in Yangon.

Download and print and then share a photo on social media of you holding the poster.


Karen Martyrs’ Day is commemorated each year on 12 August to mark the day in 1950 that Karen leader Saw Ba Oo Gyi was killed in an ambush by the Burmese Army.

The Karen Peace Support Network said: “The banning of the use of the word Martyrs for the event highlights a problem relating to the lack of understanding and acceptance of authorities in Burma that Burma is a multi-ethnic multi-religious country, where different people have different traditions, histories and national days.”