Ongoing actions

In Burma, 8000 to 10000 people were incarcerated and tortured for having peacefully resisted the different military dictatorships that ruled the country up until 2011. COSEPO’s aim is to help former prisoners of conscience who have been set free but receive no support and remain victims of discrimination.

 Project Myanmar Institute for Democracy (Rangoon/Yangon)

 

The project initiated in 2013, in collaboration with the Myanmar Institute for Democracy (MID), provide financial support to several former prisoners of conscience having been detained for their participation to the student riots of 1998. This support enables the beneficiaries of this project to follow professional training and to meet the immediate needs of their families.

By your contribution, you support one of the following priority programs:

o  urgent financial aid to families (lodging ,health care…): (300 USD per family)

o   professional training: (300-500 USD /cycle)

Project Anti Labour Group (Rangoon/Yangon)

 

Among the many testimonies we have collected, one particularly shocking story is that of the Anti Labour Group, a group of 92 prisoners of conscience incarcerated at the end of the ‘80s in the Tharrawaddy prison which is considered one of the most sinister parts of the Burmese prison system. These prisoners led a protest action to demand the cessation of forced labour for political prisoners. This movement led to a terrible repression but after several months the prison authorities finally agreed to their demands and abolished forced labour for all political prisoners in the country.

This resistance however has left deep marks. Twelve people died as a result of the conditions of their incarceration. The other members of the group, now for the most part residing in the region of Rangoon, remain victims of intimidation and repression. They currently receive no aide from the authorities nor from other support or rehabilitation programs. Their access to employment is obstructed if not altogether impossible and their family situation is also precarious due to the retaliations that their relatives are subjected to. Moreover, they often suffer form health problems related to the tortures they endured.

By your contribution, you support one of the following priority programs:

o   urgent financial aid to families (lodging ,health care…): (300 USD per family)

o   professional training: (300-500 USD /cycle)

o   tuition for children (depending on grade) : (150 -300 USD/an)

o   urgent medical interventions : (250 -1500 USD)

o   gift to family of deceased prisoners: (1000 USD per family)

Project Upper Burma (Mandalay)

 

In 2012 former prisoners of conscience living in Mandalay and surrounding provinces founded a mutual aid association (Ex-Prisoners Network Upper Burma –EPNUB) that now includes 700 members.

The principal objectives of this association are to organize education in different domains and to provide medical assistance to its most disadvantaged members.

However, their lack of means is glaring. We met the leaders of this network who told us that they have a difficult time responding to the demand for education due to a lack of materials and their inability to cover transport and lodging expenses for candidates who do not live in Mandalay.

By your contribution, you support one of the following priority programs:

o   purchasing computers to equip the EPNUB education centre:  (500 USD each)

o   participation costs to EPNUB educational programs: (100 USD/person)

o   setting up English classes: (1000 USD/cycle)