How to Help Imprisoned Burmese Journalist Zaw Thet Htwe

by Brian Honigman    /  June 30, 2010  / No comments


Damage caused by Cyclone Nargis, Photo: © alaphia.blogspot.com

Zaw Thet Htwe is a Burmese sports journalist. In 2008, Htwe was working with Burmese comedian Maung Thura -also known as Zargana- to deliver aid and support to the victims of Cyclone Nargis, which struck Burma on May 2, 2008. While working as humanitarians for the Burmese people, Htwe and Zargana were placed under arrest by the Junta government.

Htwe was visiting his sick mother in the town of Minbu, when police detained him for an alleged violation of the Video Act and the Unlawful Associations Act. Sentenced to a nineteen-year prison term, Htwe won’t be released till June 12, 2027. Burmese officials confiscated his cell phone, computer, CD’s, and other various documents to build a case against him.

In the past, he worked as the editor of the First Eleven Sports Journal, which is widely received throughout Burma. This is not the first time Htwe was arrested. In the 1990′s, he was arrested for his work with the Democratic Party for a New Society and in 2003 he was detained under suspicions of treason for publishing specific articles as the editor of the journal.

This arrest in 2003 was almost the end for Htwe because he was sentenced to death by the military court. Luckily, the sentenced was reduced to a three year term. We can only hope his current sentence will be reduced in a similar fashion.

Here are a few ways you can help protect freedom of expression in Burma:

Sign the Free Burma Alliance Petition

Watch the Call to Action video

Check Voices of Burma for more ways to help.

What other ways can you make a difference in Burma?

Read Brian’s bio.

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