Youth Groups April 2016 Monthly Action: Free Phyoe Phyoe Aung
Myanmar: Free political prisoners
Individuals at Risk: Phyoe Phyoe Aung
Phyoe Phyoe Aung is a young activist and Secretary General of the All Burma Federation Student Union (ABFSU) – one of the largest student unions in Myanmar. She has been in prison along with 50 other students and protesters since 10 March 2015 after being arrested during a student protest against the newly adopted National Education Law, which students say reduces academic freedom. Phyoe Phyoe was arrested purely for expressing her opinion; she is a prisoner of conscience.
We’re picking this case up again because, on April 1st, Htin Kyaw took office as the first democratically elected president of Myanmar for more than 50 years. He is a member of the same party as Aung Sun Suu Kyi - The National League for Democracy. Their party has publicly stated that they want to release all political prisoners as soon as possible.
The following weeks are an important opportunity to put pressure on the new government to deliver real human rights change and ensure that any prisoner release includes Phyoe Phyoe Aung and the other peaceful students.
Activists and human rights defenders have a vital role to play in shaping Myanmar’s future at this critical juncture. They will be unable to do so if they are locked up, or at constant risk of arrest for their work.