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A huge fire swept through Umpiem Mai refugee camp in Thailand on February 23, 2012, destroying over a thousand homes. Children who hardly had anything to begin with have lost absolutely everything. There are over 4,000 children living in this camp.
The award winning documentary, 'Crossing Midnight', is set on the border of Thailand and eastern Burma. 'Crossing Midnight' tells the story of a remarkable community of refugees from Burma working against incredible odds to help their own.
Directed by Jeanne Hallacy
Bo Kyi, a former political prisoner in Burma and co-founder of the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners–Burma, appeared at the the auditorium at The City Library to present the eye-opening documentary, “Into the Current: Burma’s Political Prisoners,” on March 20, 2012.
As the U.S. relaxes its official policy of sanctions against Burma’s brutal military regime in response to the high-profile release of hundreds of political prisoners, Bo Kyi’s stories of daily torture that continues despite the January prisoner releases bring rare insight to a topic making headlines around the world today.
Bo Kyi spent seven years inside what the US Campaign for Burma calls the country’s notorious “living cemeteries,” and after escaping to Thailand in 1999 he dedicated his life to securing the release of others who remain Burma’s political prisoners.
“The Burmese government released 651 political prisoners in January, but that leaves more than 1,300 still behind bars,” says Bo Kyi. “Their mental and physical suffering is unbearable, and even those released are still blacklisted because the Burmese government doesn’t recognize the existence of political prisoners. They can’t receive passports, and they still have very few basic freedoms.”
Bo Kyi received Human Rights Watch’s Freedom and Human Rights Award in 2011 and their Alison Des Forges Defender Award in 2009 for his “extraordinary activism and heroic efforts.” He was imprisoned for his role in pro-democracy activities that ultimately led to the years-long house arrest of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi.
March 19, 2012 KRCL RadioActive! Interview with Bo Kyi
March 8, 2012 - FLASH POINTS - Recorded interview of Aung San Suu Kyi, and live interview with Jeanne Hallacy and Bo Kyi.
“Burmese protest leader monk Gambira ‘taken away’,”
BBC, February 10, 2012.
“UN counts 55,000
Democratic Voice of Burma, February 6, 2012.
“The dynamics of sixty years of ethnic armed conflict in Burma,” Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies: Peace and Reconciliation, January, 2012.
“Burma’s ethnic ceasefire agreements,” Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies: Peace and Reconciliation, January, 2012.
”The conflict in Kachin State – Time to revise the costs of war?” Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies: Peace and Reconciliation, February, 2012.
“Myanmar refugees tell of violence despite peace calls,” Reuters, February 10, 2012.
“Monthly newsletter,” Minmahaw Education Foundation, February 2, 2012.
“Burma on the brink,” Radio National Service of Australia Broadcasting Corporation, January 29, 2012.
“KNU statement regarding peace negotiations,” Karen National Union, January 26, 2012.
“Analysis of EU conclusions on Burma” Burma Campaign UK, January, 2012.
“Kachin front battle videos” Dictator Watch, January, 2012.
“Karen pride and unity” Dictator Watch, January, 2012.