What You Can Do

Sign an online petition calling for the release of Burma's political prisoners today.


Human Rights Watch's "Behind Bars in Burma" campaign  is designed to help secure the release of Burma's more than 2,100 political prisoners. People around the world can do their bit to aid these brave and principled individuals by keeping them in the spotlight. Through spreading information in your community you can help reach and influence policymakers. Some of the ways to do this are to:

  • Give a face and name to people inside Burma's prisons by making a prisoner's case your cause. Some examples:
    • Ask comedians to develop jokes and sketches honoring Burma's imprisoned comedian, Zargana.
    • Call on trade unions to use their influence to publicize the plight of Burmese activists, especially labor activists like Su Su Nway.
    • Ask religious orders to raise the plight of monks like U Gambira and nuns imprisoned in Burma during religious ceremonies and events.
    • Ask high school and university student groups on campus to organize events to raise awareness about Burma's political prisoners especially former student leaders like Min Ko Naing.
  • Make local and national politicians aware of the fate of political prisoners. Write letters, emails, and petitions to the Burmese military government officials and leaders of countries that support it such as China, Russia and India. Urge them to seek the release of all the political prisoners in Burma.
  • Write to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, asking him to pressure Burma's government--essentially a military government with a civilian façade, following the sham elections of November 2010--on the release of all Burmese political prisoners.
  • Write opinion pieces for your local newspaper on the plight of political prisoners in Burma and call up radio stations raising the plight of individual prisoners like Zargana, Su Su Nway, U Gambira and Min Ko Naing.
  • Disseminate information and support human rights in Burma through social networking and online activism via social media such as AVAAZ, Twitter, and Facebook.
  • Publicize the plight of people jailed for their peaceful activities by speaking out at community events on the absence of freedom of expression in Burma.
  • Distribute information materials such as those published by Human Rights Watch.
  • Help the families of political prisoners by donating to organizations that support them, such as the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners in Burma (AAPPB). Such organizations keep thousands of people fed, housed, and at school. You can also help fund research on the plight of Burma's prisoners by donating to Human Rights Watch.
  • And best of all, inform yourself and others, even just a few.

These simple but powerful acts are routinely denied the people of Burma. The people profiled in this report were imprisoned for trying to do just that in their own country.

> > To sign an online letter calling for the release of Burma's political prisoners, please click here.

> > For more information on human rights in Burma, please click here.