Amnesty asks students to send message of home to Burmese activists
Amnesty International is asking students across Scotland to add extra cards to their Christmas list this year to support three Burmese activists and others across the globe who have faced human rights abuses. As part of the annual Greetings Card Campaign, Amnesty is encouraging people to send a card to individuals or organisations who are either in danger or unjustly imprisoned.
The three Burmese activists-Kuhn Bedu (26), Khun Kawrio (26) and Khun Dee De (27) are all members of an activist group called Kayan New Generation (KNGY). They were arrested for campaigning against the draft constitution in May 2008 and sentenced to 30 years in prison after being subjected to torture. The three had organised dissidents to spray-paint peaceful political messages on walls and signposts, and distributed materials urging people to vote against the referendum. With campaigning against the constitution effectively outlawed, the ruling military junta won the vote. The constitution entrenches military rule and impunity in Burma, and fails to uphold human rights or to address human rights violations in the country. Burma held its first elections in 20 years on 7 November 2010. While Aung San Suu Kyi has just been released there are still more than 2,200 political prisoners in Burma, more than at any other time since the mass pro-democracy uprising in 1988. Amnesty International's Scottish Programme Director, John Watson, said: “The Greetings Card Campaign has a tremendous effect for those receiving the cards, offering hope and solidarity. “This year 32 individuals and groups feature in the campaign including this group of young activists who have been subjected to horrific torture and treatment simply for voicing their opposition.” “Our experience has repeatedly shown how much a card can lift the spirits of those who have been denied hope, and at the same time timing showing the authorities that they have not been forgotten. So at a time when we're sending cards to family and friends, a few extra cards can make such a huge difference.”