Jasmine Heiss & Amnesty International & Ne Win & Joy Y. Wang / MSNBC – 2016-01-15 01:10:51
ACTION ALERT: Free Phyoe Phyoe Aung
Jasmine Heiss & Amnesty International & Ne Win
Phyoe Phyoe Aung was arrested for heading up a peaceful student protest, and now faces nine years in prison. Below is a message from her father. Join thousands of others in taking action for Phyoe Phyoe Aung today.
Jasmine Heiss is Senior Campaigner, Individuals at Risk
with Amnesty International USA
Free Phyoe Phyoe Aung
She’s been unjustly arrested and imprisoned for exercising her right to free expression in Myanmar, also known as Burma. She could spend almost a decade in prison unless activists like you dial up the pressure.
My name is Ne Win and I am a former prisoner of conscience in Myanmar, also known as Burma. I know the anguish and fear of suffering from human rights abuses.
And now, it grieves me to say, my daughter has suffered from abuses to her human rights too.
My daughter, Phyoe Phyoe Aung was arrested in March for leading a peaceful student protest – she is still in prison. Her arrest is deeply troubling.
After an 8-day stand-off between protesters and the police, Phyoe Phyoe Aung tried to negotiate peace, but was handcuffed along with dozens of other students and beaten with batons. The female students were threatened with sexual abuse.
Without international pressure, Phyoe Phyoe Aung and her fellow demonstrators will remain imprisoned. They don’t deserve this. These students and all prisoners of conscience in Myanmar should be released immediately.
My daughter broke no laws and is imprisoned for the peaceful expression of her beliefs. Please speak up for her rights by signing this petition from Amnesty International.
Phyoe Phyoe Aung was one of the twelve cases that were featured during Amnesty’s Write for Rights, the biggest human rights letter writing campaign of the year.
ACTION: Will you speak up for Phyoe Phyoe Aung and sign this petition today?
Please help free my daughter.
I am so grateful for people like you.
With deep gratitude,
FORMER PRISONOR OF CONSCIENCE
PROUD FATHER OF STUDENT ACTIVIST PHYOE PHYOE AUNG
Bush Institute Activist Phyoe Phyoe Aung Arrested in Myanmar
Joy Y. Wang / MSNBC
(March 12, 2015) — An activist working with the George W. Bush Institute’s Liberty and Leadership Forum was arrested in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, earlier this week during protests calling for more transparency in the country’s education system.
Phyoe Phyoe Aung, a longtime advocate for the cause, serves as the general secretary for the All-Burma Federation of Student Unions. She was arrested on Tuesday along with more than 120 other demonstrators, according to The New York Times.
“We are deeply concerned about the recent arrests of peaceful demonstrators in Burma by local authorities,” George W. Bush and Laura Bush said in a statement released Thursday. “Like Phyoe Phyoe Aung, many of the demonstrators are students working to support Burma’s transition by advocating for a transparent and accountable education system. Education is vital to the political, economic, and social well-being of every nation and people. We hope that those arrested will soon be released.”
The students were protesting an education law passed by the country’s semi-civilian government, which took control in 2011, according to The Washington Post. In particular, they are seeking to establish student unions, gain more freedom to study languages spoken by the country’s ethnic minorities, and establish a decentralized academic system. Protests had centered around the city of Letpadan.
The “local authorities violently cracked down on a large group of students protesting the recently passed National Education Law,” Elizabeth Hoffman, the program manager of the George W. Bush Institute’s Freedom Advocate Initiative, wrote in a post on the organization’s website. “The students are demanding greater transparency, accountability and government investment in the country’s education system, which was decimated due to decades of authoritarian rule.”
She noted that Aung, 27, participated in the 2007 Saffron Revolution, which was led by Burmese monks protesting the country’s military junta.
“Shortly after that she was arrested and imprisoned for over three years due to her involvement in the pro-democracy student movement,” Hoffman wrote. “These experiences explain her commanding presence despite her slight stature and soft-spoken nature. When she speaks, people listen.”
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