We are delighted to report that the Unity 5 journalists, for whom we started working in September 2015, were released on 17th April;
they were among 83 political prisoners pardoned by Burma’s new President, Htin Kyaw, as part of the celebrations of the Burmese New Year.
Many thanks to everyone who has written letters and/or signed cards on their behalf.
Here is a message from another Burmese prisoner of conscience, Phyoe Phyoe Aung, who was also released in April:
Dear friends from Amnesty International around the world,
I am Phyoe Phyoe Aung. Many of you campaigned for my release from prison, and sent me letters of support while I was in prison. I have been wanting to reply to you all since I was released – I would like to apologize to you for my late message.
As the daughter of a former political prisoner, I know very well the name of Amnesty International, and heard about your campaigns to free prisoners of conscience including Aung San Suu Kyi since I was young. In 2015, I became an Amnesty International prisoner of conscience myself. After that, I received so many postcards, handmade cards with drawings of lovely animals full of warm wishes, encouraging letters and beautiful poems from people all across the world. I still receive your letters via the Amnesty International office, as well as from political prisoners’ organization. I plan to collect some of these letters and cards and use them to create an archive of political prisoners’ history.
I am so grateful to Amnesty International and all of the people who participated in the campaign for my release. International movements like yours create pressure on governments for our physical freedom, but knowing we have your solidarity also supports us mentally.
We feel that international organizations like Amnesty International never forget the people who are facing injustice in their struggle for democracy and human rights. Amnesty International’s big solidarity campaigns support our fight for human rights – you are people from around the world who love and fight for human rights. We need to be strong and remember how important it is to join together in our struggles.
Thank you very much each and every one of you. Not just for campaigning for my release, and the release of other prisoners, but for helping to keep our hope and our beliefs alive. I hope that together we will continue our struggle until our shared dream for human rights and justice for all come true.
Phyoe Phyoe Aung