Burma: It's not all Aung San Suu Kyi

When it comes to Burma, the world and his dog tends to think about one thing: Aung San Suu Kyi.Now, I’m not one to say she isn’t important – far from it – but the plight of the iconic Burmese leader is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to human rights’ violations in Burma.This morning we issued a hard-hitting report which focuses on the forgotten plight of ethnic minorities. And it’s kept me busy. Over night Amnesty experts have been on air here in the UK with interviews on Up All Night and Morning Reports – both Radio 5 Live programmes. Kate Allen also has a comment piece on the report on the Guardian online and the report is also beginning to get some noise on the internet, including the lead story on the BBC news online Asia-Pacific section.The reality for the 135 different ethnic minorities in Burma is pretty bleak and among the cases we’ve detailed is the horrific incident of four teenage Kachin girls who were gang-raped by soldiers for singing Kachin songs at a karaoke club. It gets worse. The story was picked up by BBC Burmese and as a result the girls were caned in front of their classmates and sentenced to a year in prison for defaming the government. The soldiers escaped without punishment.It is incidents like this that really inspire you to work for Amnesty. We’ve got a few online actions that should keep you busy here and here if you want to start campaigning now.In the meantime, with elections in Burma planned for the end of the year, we’ll keep the spotlight firmly on the military regime.Watch this space…

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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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