KO KHUN SAI sign now

Background of Ko Khun Sai

We would like to introduce you to the disturbing story of Ko Khun Sai. Mr. Sai is a 55 year-old Burmese man living in the Union of Myanmar. He is a medical doctor, social welfare activist, novelist, and poet. In 1988 he was one of the founding members of the League of the New Generation (LNG) political party. The aims of the LNG included working for the holding of free and just general elections and its programs included protecting the democratic rights of citizens in a new democratic state. This party was legally registered in November 1988 but was later banned by the oppressive military regime which rules Myanmar against the peoples expressed wishes.

In February 1998 Mr. Sai was arrested. His sentence is seven years imprisonment with hard labour under Section 5j of the 1950 Emergency Provisions Act and three years imprisonment under the 1962 Printers and Publishers Registration Act. He is currently being detained in Shwebo Prison in Sagaing Division. While in prison he has allegedly been tortured. What was his crime? It is believed that he was arrested for helping Ko Aung Htun write a history of student movements in Myanmar. In other words, he was arrested for exercising his right to freedom of expression as guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Amnesty International considers him a prisoner of conscience held solely for his peaceful political activities and advocacy for human rights.

This is not the first time Mr. Sai has been arrested. On April 11, 1976, he was arrested for taking part in a student-led commemoration of the 100th birthday of Thakin Kodaw Hmaing, known as the father of peace. While in prison Mr. Sai participated in a hunger strike to protest against political prisoners being detained with criminal prisoners. After ten days of striking, Mr. Sai and the other political prisoners were beaten with truncheons by the prison authorities.

Petition

We, the undersigned, protest against the unfair imprisonment of KO KHUN SAI, whom Amnesty International considers to be a prisoner of conscience. KO KHUN SAI was arrested in February 1998 and sentenced to seven years hard labour under Section 5j of the 1950 Emergency Provisions Act and three years imprisonment under the 1962 Printers and Publishers Registration Act.
We believe KO KHUN SAI was arrested merely for exercising his right to freedom of speech, participating in peaceful political activities, and advocating human rights.
We are concerned by allegations that KO KHUN SAI has been tortured and beaten while in police custody.
We demand the IMMEDIATE and UNCONDITIONAL release of KO KHUN SAI.

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Dean MaldonadoBy:
FoodIn:
Petition target:
the government of Myanmar/Burma

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