Aung San Suu Kyi is a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and pro-democracy leader from Burma. She is also currently a political prisoner. For her political activities, she had been under house arrest for several years — until this May, when she was put into prison:
She is currently facing trial in Burma. She was on arrested on May 14th and is now being held in Insein Prison, a prison notorious for its terrible conditions and horrific treatment of prisoners. Aung San Suu Kyi is being tried for breaking the terms of her house arrest, which forbids visitors, after an American man, John Yettaw, swam across Inya Lake and refused to leave her house. Her trial began on 18th May.
Aung San Suu Kyi has committed no crime, she is the victim of crime, yet is currently facing a sentence of 3-5 years. The United Nations has ruled that Aung San Suu Kyi’s detention is illegal under international law, and also under Burmese law. The United Nations Security Council has also told the dictatorship that they must release Aung San Suu Kyi.
Political prisoners in Burma are routinely subjected to torture and often denied medical treatment. There are serious concerns for Aung San Suu Kyi’s health in these conditions, particularly as she has recently been seriously ill.
Today is Aung San Suu Kyi’s 64th birthday. To mark the day, her supporters are asking everyone who knows that her detention is wrong to write a 64 word message to and/or about her. You can submit your 64 words to their website. Mine are below:
Dear Aung San Suu Kyi: we have not forgotten you.
You’re one of the bravest women this world has ever known. I hope for a day when your illegal, immoral detention will end. And I look to the day when your people will be free, and when the world will follow in their footsteps. It will come, even if it’s long after we’re gone.
Some very famous individuals of note, particularly to me, have also participated in this campaign. Such as my personal hero Yoko Ono, who wrote this message:
Aung San Suu Kyi,
Your heart beats with my heart.
My eyes see what you see.
My belief is your belief.
And my life is connected to thousands of universes, as is yours.
Every twinkle of the star must travel billions of years to be seen by us.
But our minds do not have to travel at all to be seen by each other.
Because we are altogether.
Yoko Ono Lennon
June 19th ‘09
I was very pleasantly surprised to see that Paul McCartney also participated, with something a bit more literal:
Aung San Suu Kyi is an inspiration to her country and the rest of the world. I truly admire her infallible resolve and her determination to stand up for what she believes in. It is vital that Aung San Suu Kyi is released so that she can govern the people who elected her and give Burma back the freedom we all take for granted.
Check out more at the site. Also, head over to read Tigtog’s 64 words; her post is the reason I am writing mine.
Please write something of your own. As you can tell from mine — and hell, Paul’s — it doesn’t have to be poetic or profound. It just has to be something. The point is to stand in solidarity and to spread the word. So write 64 words. Submit them to the website. And once you do that, also post them on your own blog, or in the comments here if you don’t have one.
To read more about Aung San Suu Kyi’s case and the response to it, I actually highly recommend this post over at Yoko’s blog. She does a wonderful job of bringing together a great wealth of information.