Tuesday, 26 May 2009

64ForSuu.org: Global Campaign To Free Aung San Suu Kyi launched today

A new website calling for the release of Burma’s democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and all of Burma’s political prisoners, launches today with the backing of major celebrities and a coalition of NGOs and trade unions. The website will become the global hub of the international campaign to release Aung San Suu Kyi.

The launch coincides with the day that, according to the Burmese regime, Aung San Suu Kyi’s house arrest expires. The UN has already ruled that her detention is illegal. More than 2,100 political prisoners are being held in Burma’s jails.

64forSuu.org allows anyone to upload video, text, image or twitter messages of support to Burma’s imprisoned democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. 64forSuu.org aims to demonstrate the scale of outrage over her continued detention by encouraging high profile individuals and the public around the world to write a 64 word message, a “64”, that will be delivered on Aung San Suu Kyi’s 64th birthday on June 19th.

Organisations supporting the website include;
Burma Campaign UK, Amnesty International,Christian Solidarity Worldwide,Open Society Institute, Avaaz, theTrade Union Congress ,English Pen, Human Rights Watch and Not On Our Watch. The site will launch with messages from high-profile supporters including George Clooney, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Vaclav Havel, David Beckham, Daniel Craig, and the British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown.

Stephen Fry, Eddie Izzard, Kevin Spacey and Sarah Brown will be twittering on the site.

A selection of the 64’s from the site are below:

Not On Our Watch:
“Nineteen years ago, the Burmese people chose Aung San Suu Kyi as their next leader. For most of those 19 years she has been kept under house arrest by the military junta that runs the country. We must not stand by as she is silenced again. Now is the time for the international community to speak with one voice: Free Aung San Suu Kyi.”

Signed by: George Clooney, Sec. Madeleine Albright, Wes Anderson, Drew Barrymore, David Beckham, Bono, Matthew Broderick, Sandra Bullock, James Carville, Michael Chabon, Daniel Craig, John Cusack, Matt Damon, Robert De Niro, Dave Eggers, Jake Gyllenhaal, Václav Havel, Helen Hunt, Anjelica Huston, Scarlett Johansson, Nicole Kidman, Ashton Kutcher, Norman Lear, Madonna, Mary Matalin, Sen. John & Cindy McCain, Rose McGowan, Orhan Pamuk, Sarah Jessica Parker, Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Robert Rodriguez, Meg Ryan, Liev Schreiber, George Soros, Steven Spielberg, Meryl Streep, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Naomi Watts, Prof. Elie Wiesel, Owen Wilson.

British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown’s “64”:

“I add my voice to the growing chorus of those demanding your release. For too long the world has failed to act in the face of this intolerable injustice. That is now changing. The clamour for your release is growing across Europe, Asia, and the entire world. We must do all we can to make this Birthday the last you spend without your freedom.

Notes to editors:
About Aung San Suu Kyi:
Aung San Suu Kyi (pronounced Ong San Soo Chee), Burma’s pro-democracy leader and Nobel Peace laureate, symbolises the struggle of Burma's people to be free. She has been detained for over 13 years by the Burmese regime for campaigning for human rights and democracy in Burma.
On May 18th Aung San Suu Kyi was put on trial, charged with breaching the terms of her house arrest after an American man, John Yettaw, swam to her house and refused to leave. The dictatorship are using the visit as an opportunity to extend her detention, which was expected to expire this month. Her trial is ongoing and she could face a further five years in detention.

In 1990 she led her party to win 82% of seats in national elections in Burma, despite being placed under house arrest. She has been in and out of detention ever since. She was held under house arrest from 1989-1995, and again from 2000-2002. She was again arrested in May 2003 after the Depayin massacre, during which up to 100 of her supporters were beaten to death by the regime's militia. Aung San Suu Kyi remains under house arrest in Rangoon. Her phone line has been cut, her post is intercepted and National League for Democracy volunteers providing security at her compound were removed in December 2004.

She has won numerous international awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize, the Sakharov Prize from the European Parliament and the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom. She has called on people around the world to join the struggle for freedom in Burma, saying "Please use your liberty to promote ours.”

For more information contact Johnny Chatterton, and Website Manager for 64forsuu.org, and Campaigns Officer at Burma Campaign UK on 0207 324 4710.