Greetings Card Campaign 2008
The annual Greetings Card Campaign brings people across the world in touch with each other in a simple way – sending a card with a friendly greeting or message of solidarity to someone who is in danger or unjustly imprisoned. These are prisoners of conscience, people under sentence of death, human rights defenders under threat because of their work, and others at risk.
The campaign, which runs from 1 November to 31 January, offers hope and encouragement to the people who receive our cards. It can also help bring about change – the impression their international mail makes on police, prison staff or political authorities can help keep them safe.
Send a message of hope
Min Ko Naing (PA W U TUN)
Peaceful protester imprisoned
Political dissident Min Ko Naing was arrested and imprisoned for a third time in August 2007 after leading an anti-government protest. A prominent leader of the pro-democracy uprising of 1988, Min Ko Naing previously spent 15 years in prison, many of them in solitary confinement, for peaceful opposition to the government. He could now face up to 20 years in prison.
DETAILED CASE DESCRIPTION
Prominent activist Min Ko Naing was arrested on 21 August 2007, two days after leading a peaceful march in Yangon (Rangoon), Myanmar’s largest city, to protest increased fuel prices. Later that month large-scale anti-government demonstrations were to erupt across Myanmar, the largest protests against the military junta since 1988.
He was arrested with 12 other members of the ‘88 Generation Students group. This group was cofounded by Min Ko Naing in 2005 to renew the pro-democracy activities of those who took part in the 1988 protests.
A veteran campaigner, Min Ko Naing is one of the best-known political dissidents in Myanmar. As chair of the All Burma Federation of Student Unions he was at the forefront of the pro-democracy mass demonstrations that took place across Myanmar 20 years ago. These demonstrations were brutally suppressed by the military junta and an estimated 3,000 people were killed and thousands more imprisoned or ‘disappeared’. For his part in the demonstrations Min Ko Naing was imprisoned for 15 years and finally released in 2004.
Since his arrest in 2007, Min Ko Naing has been detained in Yangon’s Insein prison.
The first hearing of his case took place on 28 August 2008, more than a year after his arrest. He appeared in court alongside 34 others, also detained in connection with the demonstrations. All face a range of politically-motivated charges under laws that include three pieces of security legislation routinely used to prohibit and punish peaceful criticism of the government.
Conditions in Insein prison are poor and Min Ko Naing has been held in solitary confinement for over 23 hours each day. He has been suffering from an eye infection, gout and high blood pressure for which he has received inadequate medical attention. In April 2008, a specialist finally treated Min Ko Naing’s eye infection, but only after after repeated delays. He told Min Ko Naing his eyesight has been affected by his many years in damp prisons.
In June 2008 Min Ko Naing’s health worsened but his request for further treatment was denied and it is unclear if he was subsequently given the necessary treatment.
MIN KO NAING (PAW U TUN) – Myanmar also go to http://www.amnesty.org.uk/content.asp?CategoryID=11438