On Tuesday 21st April Burma Campaign UK will join activists in Burma and across the world for Blue Shirt Day for Burma’s political prisoners.
Tuesday 21st April is the sixth anniversary of the death of U Win Tin, a former political prisoner and one of Burma’s most respected campaigners for democracy. U Win Tin famously pledged to wear a blue shirt, the same colour shirt he had to wear in prison, until all political prisoners in Burma were released.
Aung San Suu Kyi is currently keeping almost 200 political prisoners in jail, while almost 400 activists and journalists face trial and possible detention. Aung San Suu Kyi has the power to release all political prisoners, and the power to repeal repressive laws used to jail political prisoners. She refuses to do so. In contrast to when the military dictatorship kept political prisoners in jail, Aung San Suu Kyi faces no significant pressure from the international community over her detention of hundreds of political prisoners.
U Win Tin, a journalist and founding member of the National League for Democracy, was one of Burma’s longest serving political prisoners, describing his time in jail from 1989 until 2008 as living in hell. “If there are no political prisoners…. I will take off my shirt but up until now I haven’t seen good indications.” U Win Tin died on 21st April 2014 without seeing an end to the jailing of political prisoners.
“Every political prisoner in Burma’s jails is Aung San Suu Kyi’s political prisoner,” said Anna Roberts, Executive Director of Burma Campaign UK. “Aung San Suu Kyi has the power to release them and chooses to keep them in jail. This can’t just be blamed on the military, it’s on her. It is time Aung San Suu Kyi faced a lot more pressure over her detention of political prisoners.”
On 21st April, people around the world will be wearing a blue shirt or blue clothing to raise awareness about Burma’s forgotten political prisoner crisis, and in solidarity with those activists in jail for supporting human rights and democracy. Burma Campaign UK has contacted all of our supporters asking them to wear blue.
Please join Blue Shirt Day on Tuesday 21st April. Wear blue, post pictures on social media, and remind the world that there are still political prisoners in Burma’s jails, and that they must be freed immediately.
Post a picture of yourself on Facebook, Twitter etc using the hashtag #blueshirt4burma. Or on Instagram: @blueshirt4burma.