Radios for Burma: An Update

A few weeks ago we launched an appeal to buy radios for Burma. Our aim was to raise £50,000 – enough money to distribute 4,000 radios in the country.

The radios we buy will help amplify independent media so that the people of Burma can access their rights and learn about issues relevant to their daily lives. Our project, created in partnership with groups working on the ground, is intended to strengthen and empower people in their initiatives to promote and protect human rights in their own communities.

We were hoping to raise this money by the beginning of July so that we could start distributing radios as soon as possible. Your response has been staggering and thousands of you decided to part with some cash and buy a radio or two to help increase access to uncensored information for people living in one of the most repressive regimes in the world.

Our total is now over £45,000 and the donations are still coming in. We want to ensure we can fund 4,000 radios and any donations received will go towards that target. If we exceed our target then your donations will go towards achieving our wider campaign objectives which are consistent with the Radios for Burma project.

As your radios start being purchased, delivered and listened to we will bring you photo and video reports from inside Burma to show you how these vital tools are benefiting the communities they reach. Getting such footage out of Burma can be difficult, but as soon as we receive anything, those of you that donated will be the first to know.

Get more involved

Our campaign in Burma is wider than just this project: Human rights abuses in Burma are widespread and systematic. Around 2,200 people are imprisoned for their peaceful political activism. People are frequently arrested without warrant and torture is common place.

In the lead up to the 2010 elections in Burma, Amnesty supporters around the world will be taking action to demand an end to the violence and repression against ordinary Burmese people who simply want to have a say in how their country is governed.

In May 2008, Khun Bedu, Khun Kawrio and Khun Dee De were arrested for peaceful protest. As leading members of a youth group they had organised local dissidents to release balloons, launch paper boats and spray-paint walls with their peaceful political messages.

For these simple acts of defiance they were sentenced to between 35 and 37 years in prison.

You can send a letter to the Burmese authorities to release these three young men, or make a paper boat following the instructions in this video. We’ll use these boats in a protest against the imprisonment of political activists in Burma later in the year.

How to make a boat for Burma from Amnesty International on Vimeo.

Once you’ve made your boat send it to:

Amnesty International UK
The Human Rights Action Centre
17 – 25 New Inn Yard
London EC2A 3EA

A massive thank you is due to anyone who has taken action so far by donating to our campaign, lobbying the authorities, or simply spreading the word about what’s going on inside Burma. Things will only change if we speak up together and support those campaigning to make their voices heard and their rights respected.

About Amnesty UK Blogs
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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