Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Su Su Nway Put in Solitary

A prominent Burmese labor rights activist, Su Su Nway, was placed in solitary confinement for three days after participating in a ceremony to mark the 62nd anniversary of Martyrs’ Day on July 19 in Kalay Prison, in Sagaing Division, according to her sister.

Speaking to The Irrawaddy on Tuesday, her sister, Htay Htay Kyi, said, “She was put in solitary confinement because she stood up and sang an independence anthem composed by Min Ko Naing to mark Martyrs’ Day.”
This picture taken 19 July 2006 shows Burmese activist Su Su Nway (C) attending a Martyr Day ceremony at the headquarters of the National League for Democracy in Rangoon. (Photo: Getty Images)

Htay Htay Kyi said she visited her sister on July 21 when she delivered medicine to Su Su Nway who said she had been denied medical care by the prison authorities.

Su Su Nway, 37, suffers from hypertension and heart disease.

In 2006, she won the John Humphrey Freedom Award for promoting human rights.

She was arrested together with two colleagues after they pasted anti-government posters on a billboard in downtown Rangoon during the monk-led uprising of 2007. She was sentenced to 12 and a half years in prison.

Su Su Nway is among other 2,100 political prisoners who are currently being detained by the Burmese military authorities.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in July called on the Burmese junta to release all political prisoners before the national elections in 2010.

Burmese permanent representative at the UN, Than Swe reportedly told Ban that Burma will release prisoners before the election; however, he did not specify if political dissidents would be among the prisoners released.

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