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Over 340 “Arrest Yourself” Events to be Held around the World; A Tribute to the World’s Only Imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize Recipient Aung San Suu Kyi on Her 65th Birthday (click to view PDF)

June 18, 2010
Media Contact: Jennifer Quigley at (202) 234 8022

(Washington, DC) Over 340 people from 29 countries and 44 American states have already pledged to stage a symbolic 24-hour house arrest in their homes on June 19, 2010 to show their solidarity with the world’s only imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize Recipient Aung San Suu Kyi of a Southeast Asian country of Burma. She has been detained by the one of the most brutal military regimes in the world. She has spent more than 14 of the last 20 years under house arrest. The U.S. Campaign for Burma, a leading coalition of Burmese activists in exile and American human rights campaigners working to promote freedom, justice and democracy in Burma, organizes these solidarity acts to raise awareness of the struggle of the people of Burma. 

On June 19, 2010, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s 65th
 birthday, over 340 activists will ‘arrest themselves’ in their homes for 24 hours, invite over their families, friends and co-workers, share Burmese food, watch documentary films featuring the military regime’s campaign of ethnic cleansing, and discuss how best they can help the people of Burma break free from military rule. To transform knowledge into action, participants will give signatures on a petition calling for President Obama to support the establishment of a UN Commission of Inquiry to investigate war crimes and crimes humanity in Burma, recommended by the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights in Burma.

“I hope, from these events, President Obama will hear the voices of activists who want to see peace in Burma, loud and clear, urging him to take effective leadership to apply collective and effective pressure on the military regime,” says Aung Din, a former political prisoner and Executive Director of the US Campaign for Burma.

While putting Aung San Suu Kyi and over 2,000 democracy activists and Buddhist monks in prison, the regime has been trying to finalize its plan to create a permanent military dictatorship through a sham constitution and a showcase election this year. Aung San Suu Kyi’s party, the National League for Democracy that won a landslide victory in the 1990 election, and its allied ethnic political parties decided to boycott the election and call on the international community to not recognize the undemocratic election.

From the beginning, USCB has urged the U.S. government to set a time frame for its engagement with the regime and prepare an appropriate response. As the U.S engagement with the regime, which started since September last year, does not produce any positive result after 10 months, “what we need now is a decisive action of the United States, beginning with increasing targeted financial and banking sanctions, rejecting the regime’s election plan, and calling for the UN to establish a commission of inquiry,” continues Aung Din.