2015 Campaign: “Even Though I’m Free I Am Not”

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) and the Former Political Prisoners Society (FPPS) are urging the international community to call on the Government of Burma to put an end to the use of oppressive laws to harass, arrest and imprison activists; unconditionally release all current political prisoners; and enact real lasting judicial and legislative reform in Burma.

To show the Government of Burma that the world stands in solidarity with Burma’s political prisoners and demands lasting reform, over the coming weeks we will collect photographs of our supporters’ participation in our 2015 Palm Campaign: “Even Though I’m Free I Am Not”. The campaign will culminate on March 13, 2015 – Burma’s Human Rights Day – by showcasing photographs of the support and solidarity from across the world, at an exhibition in Rangoon. This event will display the international community’s widespread call that the Government of Burma must demonstrate the political will to meet the demands of this campaign.

Why Does It Matter?

As of January 2015, there are 186 political prisoners in Burma’s jails, over double the amount than in January 2014. This is in stark contrast to the government’s promise that all political prisoners would be released by the end of 2013. Moreover, with a further 222 activists awaiting trial, the number of political prisoners is set to increase in the coming months. Despite this, the government remains unwilling to officially recognize their continued existence.

The steady rise in the number of political prisoners in the last year makes clear that the government is increasingly cracking down on fundamental freedoms in the run up to the 2015 election. There is a widespread belief that reforms in Burma have stalled, and the alarming political prisoner situation is demonstrative of the government’s backsliding on the supposed transition to democracy. 2015 marks a critical period for Burma’s burgeoning democracy; it is crucial that the international community puts renewed pressure on the government to fulfill its commitments to a democratic future.

What Can You Do?

Show the government of Burma that you stand in solidarity with the remaining political prisoners and demand lasting reform by participating in our 2015 Palm Campaign. Simply follow these steps:

  • Write the name of a political prisoner on your right palm, from our list of current political prisoners (Unfortunately we cannot accept submissions with the writing not on the right palm)
  • Take a photo of yourself with your right palm showing and email to campaigns@aappb.org*
  • Make it your profile picture, Tweet it @aapp_burma and share on Instagram using #2015PalmCampaign
  • Change your social media cover pictures to remind the world that no political prisoner should be left behind:

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(Click on the picture to open in a new page and save)

All of the photographs collected thus far can be viewed on our campaign Instagram page. For more information on our campaign, or about AAPP, email us at campaigns@aappb.org

*Note: By sending your photograph to AAPP, you authorize AAPP to publicly use or publish your photograph in different outlets (exhibitions, social media, AAPP webpage etc.) for the purposes of the campaign. Please inform AAPP when sending your photo if you would not like it to be used in other outlets other than the exhibition.

Additional Links

Campaign Information Pack

Laws Used Against Activists