Looking back at previous blog posts, it is almost surreal to be writing in anticipation of Aung San Suu Kyi’s visit to Dublin and London next week. But here we are. She has already visited Switzerland, and greeted Amnesty members there. It’s our turn next.
On Monday, Aung San Suu Kyi is scheduled to arrive in Dublin for a concert where she will be presented by Bono with the Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience Award.
After the concert, she will fly to London, where her programme includes a visit to Oxford; a parliamentary address to MPs and Lords at Westminster; celebrating her birthday; and attending a concert for the Burmese community in the UK at the Royal Festival Hall.
The release of such an iconic prisoner of conscience is a huge cause for celebration for Amnesty. Aung San Suu Kyi was declared a prisoner of conscience in 1989 when she was first placed under house arrest, and was awarded the status of Ambassador of Conscience in 2009, an award she was unable to collect in person until this coming Monday.
As the most famous prisoner of conscience in the world Aung San Suu Kyi holds a special place in the hearts of Amnesty activists. Many of whom have campaigned for her freedom for decades.
Yet it is worth remembering the plea from Aung San Suu Kyi herself, who asked that “use your freedom to promote ours” and whilst she is thankfully free to travel internationally, and to meet with people who have worked for her freedom, hundreds of political prisoners remain behind bars. We are launching a new petition calling for the release of all remaining prisoners of conscience, which you can sign up to, here.
Watch this space for news of her visit next week.
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