Burmese history teacher released

Dear colleagues,

Good news. Amnesty International reports that on 21 February 2009 history teacher Ma Khin Khin Leh was released, together with 23 other prisoners. In July 1999, she was arrested instead of her husband. Later, she was sentenced to life imprisonment. In December 2000, the Network of Concerned Historians launched a campaign on her behalf. Thank you for your efforts.

With best wishes,

Antoon De Baets
(Network of Concerned Historians)



In July 1999, history teacher Ma Khin Khin Leh (?1966–) was detained with eighteen others in Pegu, on suspicion that they were planning a prodemocracy march scheduled for 19 July (Martyrs’ Day, commemorating the 1947 assassination of General Aung San [1915‒47], independence leader and father of opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi). The local Military Intelligence arrested her and her three-year old daughter after officials from the State Peace and Development Council (military junta) attempted to detain her husband, Kyaw Wunna, a political activist and one of the march organizers, but could not locate him. The child was released after five days’ detention. In December 1999, a Special Court sentenced Ma Khin Khin Leh to life imprisonment. In January 2000, she was transferred to an unknown location. On 21 February 2009, she was released.

[Sources: Amnesty International, Myanmar: Imprisoned for Telling the Truth about Human Rights—Freedom of Expression on Trial in Insein Prison (WWW-text; London 1 March 2005) 14; Amnesty International, Report 2003 (London 2003) 181; American Association for the Advancement of Science, Human Rights Action Network, BU0009.Daw (5 December 2000).]

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