Yesterday, twenty years after being declared a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International (with more than 13 of those 20 years spent under house arrest) Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the Myanmar opposition party the National League for Democracy, was awarded Amnesty International’s most prestigious honor, the “Ambassador of Conscience” Award, recognizing her exceptional leadership in the fight to protect and promote human rights. Amnesty International and the Irish rock band U2 announced the award in Dublin, Ireland.
Though her house detention order was set to expire on May 27, 2009, Aung San Suu Kyi was instead arrested on grounds that she had violated the terms and conditions of her house arrest, and she was placed on trial on May 18. If convicted, she could face up to five years in prison.
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is one of over 2,100 others currently imprisoned in Myanmar for their political beliefs, and all of these individuals should be freed. As Amnesty International’s Secretary General Irene Khan so eloquently put, “In those long and often dark years Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has remained a symbol of hope, courage and the undying defense of human rights, not only to the people of Myanmar but to people around the world.” Indeed, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is a beacon of hope for some, a leader for many and an inspiration to us all. Learn more about Aung San Suu Kyi and take action!