PoC has been supporting political prisoners in Burma since 2005 through our partner organisation AAPP. The prevelance of human rights violations by the military junta has always been a cause for great concern and initially we had a list of around 1,200 prisoners who were being detained for their beliefs and were in need of our help. The situation became critical in 2007 after the government’s crackdown on pro-democracy activists and our list of prisoners of conscience rose to over 2,200.
Then in January 2012 in a surprise amnesty by the junta many political prisoners were suddenly released. This was a very welcome development, and more have been released since, but the fact remains that some prisoners of conscience are still behind bars and those who are released, are still at grave risk of being put back in prison.
We provide named individuals with small grants – £100-£200 each. This gives practical support to prisoners of conscience and their families, either during or following their imprisonment. It can provide food, shelter, or perhaps the means escape for those facing torture or near-certain death. Each recipient is known to us, and verified as a genuine, peaceful activist, whose only real “crime” has been to call for the basic freedoms we take for granted.
To make a donation specifically to our work with Burmese political prisoners and their families please click here.