[By Leo Cackett. Also see the photo at Enigma Images]
UPDATE Oct 12, 2011
Burma amnesty brings release of hundreds of prisoners, including about 200 political ones. Democratic Voice of Burma:
"Zarganar, a prominent comedian and vocal government critic, was among those released on Wednesday as part of a pardon of more than 6,300 prisoners by the new leadership, his family said."Also BBC News article.
Christopher Eccleston (The Observer, Oct 3, 2010):
"Burma is a country of horrors. Torture is commonplace, dissent is not tolerated, and censorship is almost total. It is unbelievable that such regime can continue to exist. Take the case of popular comedian Zarganar. He is currently serving a 35-year prison sentence for criticising the junta's handling of the cyclone relief efforts in 2008. Nothing short of ridiculous. The global community needs to wake up and act as one to condemn the country's ruling military junta and their appalling human rights record."The Observer gallery of the campaign.
From Enigma Images site:
Leading celebrities are being asked to join people from all over the world, including politicians and leading exiled Burmese activists, to stand in solidarity with Burma's former political prisoners to demand the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners currently incarcerated in Burma's notorious prisons.
Full details of the campaign can be seen on the Amnesty website
The campaign is based on the documentary project Even Though I'm Free I Am Not which can be viewed in full on this website
People are being asked to write the name on the palm of their hand of one of the 9 political prisoner cases that Amnesty International are highlighting. They will then have their photo taken and be able to stand in solidarity with Burma's former political prisoners who are leading this campaign.
The photographs will be collected and presented to the summit meeting of political leaders from Asia and Europe, in Brussels in October 2010 - the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM). Amnesty will call on these leaders to press for freedom for Burma's political prisoners, and real human rights for Burma.
Amnesty's action this year on Burma was inspired by the work of James Mackay, a London-based freelance documentary photographer who has photographed more than 160 former Burmese political prisoners now located all around the world - some still in Burma.Read about the photoshoot with Eccleston at Even Though I'm Free I Am Not blog.
For the self-funded project, entitled 'Even Though I'm Free I Am Not', James is travelling around the world, including Burma, to photograph and interview former political prisoners who are coming together to raise awareness for their colleagues who remain in jail. He is working in collaboration with the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma) and Democratic Voice of Burma.
Take action - Amnesty International: Human Rights for Burma