According to Amnesty International and Assistance Association Political Prisoners (Burma):
- Even though 200 political prisoners were released October 12, 90 per cent of political prisoners remain behind bars.
- Nearly 2,000 political prisoners, including monks, students and labour activists still remain in various prisons.
- Prison conditions are deplorable; 146 prisoners have died since 1988 due to disease, malnutrition and maltreatment by prison authorities.
The release of ALL political prisoners, along with their free participation in the political process is an essential step towards acceptable political liberalization in Burma.
Please add your voice to the campaign sponsored by CUPE, Canadian Friends of Burma and CUSO-VSO.
CUPE is also co-sponsoring a visit to Canada by two Burmese youth leaders who will visit Canada over the next two weeks – Mi Aie Son and Aung Naing Soe. These young Burmese activists will share their dream for a fair and democratic Burma.
Tuesday, October 25
Main branch of the Ottawa Public Library
120 Metcalfe Street
Wednesday, October 26
Jorgenson Hall Centre Hub (POD 152)
350 Victoria Street
Sunday, October 30
1460 Howe Street
As well as public presentations in Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver, they will visit with the Parliamentary Friends of Burma, civil society and Human Rights organizations, university and youth groups in Ottawa and Toronto before participating in the CUPE National Convention in Vancouver.
Mi Aie Son, a Mon ethnic, works with the Mon Youth Progressive Organization (MYPO) an independent youth organization with the aim of supporting the struggle for democracy and human rights in Burma. MYPO has implemented capacity building training sessions for members, an empowerment program for young women activists, an awareness-raising program on issues of land use and control, hydro electric dam awareness, a rights based campaign for women, work on civil rights, and quarterly bulletins.
Aung Naing Soe is an ethnic Arakan who is the General Secretary of Nationalities Youth Forum. Under his leadership, NY Forum has successfully implemented training sessions , workshops and internships for ethnic youth and women. He is also the Burma representative for Asia Pacific Youth Network, promoting the collaboration of young activists throughout the region.