By Haider Kikabhoy, Amnesty International campaigner on Myanmar
On 7 November 2010, the Myanmar government will hold elections for the first time in 20 years. The polls will take place against a backdrop of political repression and systematic violence.
The “three freedoms” of expression, peaceful assembly and association are severely restricted in the country.
More than 2,200 political prisoners continue to languish behind bars. They are silenced simply for speaking their minds. They are repressed for daring to organise themselves to protest the policies and actions of their military government.
The number of political prisoners has more than doubled since the violently suppressed “Saffron Revolution” in September 2007, when hundreds of thousands of people across Myanmar joined monk-led marches to demand political and economic reforms from their government.
In the run-up to the elections, the Myanmar government have continued to attack the “three freedoms”.
With your help, we can work towards a global outcry demanding freedom for all prisoners of conscience in Myanmar. Together we can demand protection of the “three freedoms” for the people of the country throughout the elections period – and beyond.
You can make these demands in an inventive and interactive global online action targeting the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Human rights improvements are long overdue in Myanmar. The country’s neighbours have a key role to play in securing change there.
When you add your photo to the thousands already online, we send nine translated emails on your behalf to the governments of Myanmar’s neighbours in Southeast Asia, demanding they support the “three freedoms” for the people of Myanmar.
Your support is also vital to help secure freedom for all prisoners of conscience in Myanmar.
Public pressure worldwide is essential to ensure that the basic human rights of the people of Myanmar are upheld.