May 2015 Report on Burma & N. Korea



  • We signed 18 letters last month as part of the Individuals at Risk program and will be signing 28 at the next meeting


  • The London-based Burma Campaign has reported that two union leaders have been arrested under the repressive law which bans protest without Government permission, for calling for a rise of $1 a day for garment workers in Rangoon who earn 43 cents an hour currently. If you feel strongly about this, do sign their Petition on their website please. This is not an AI campaign but we are also writing a letter about imprisoned activists this month as part of our ongoing letters campaign. If you would like the latest from Burma Link (the small NGO I worked for this winter) do have a look here
  • We raised the issue of the Unity Five (4 journalists and their chief executive) in April 2014 and again in Aug, Sept and Oct. All five have been sentenced to 7 years hard labour for “disclosing State secrets” for publishing an article about the alleged secret chemical weapons factory in central Burma. Increased media freedom was one of the key reforms highlighted by the international community as evidence of Burma’s transition to democracy but over the past year the situation for Burma’s journalists has deteriorated and they are facing increased harassment and restriction. If you feel strongly about this please inundate Burma’s Minister of Information’s Facebook page with Free the Unity 5 (this is actually a Burma Campaign request but as you can see it is also an AI campaign with the fact that at their request we have written 4 times already.)

North Korea

  • Reported in The Korea Herald (presumably a SK publication) this month that 1 in 6 NK children under the age of 5 have chronic malnutrition
  • Eritrea and NK have been named as the most censored countries in the world by (CPJ) Committee to Protect Journalists and incidentally Burma is in the top 10 also
  • Reported in the Independent that the US Ambassador to SK could face a “bigger mishap” than the knife attack on his face last month if he doesn’t stop insulting NK
  • Reported at the end of April that 15 senior officials (including 4 members of the State orchestra) have been executed.

Wendy Hughes
Burma & N.Korea Co-Ordinator

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