THE 88 GENERATION STUDENTS: FIRST DAYS OF FREEDOM { 70 images } Created 30 Jan 2012

For more than twenty years the men and women of Burma's dissidents supreme, the 88 Generation Students, have lead the non-violent revolution for democracy and change in Burma.

On Friday 13th January 2012, Burma's dissidents supreme, the 88 Generation Students were released from prison. More than 30 members of the group were serving sentences of 65 years for their roles in leading peaceful protests against the military regime in 2007. These exclusive images capture the members of the group and such prominent activists as Min Ko Naing, Ko Ko Gyi and Htay Kywe in the days after their release from prison as once again they are freed and now able to continue their work and political activities to bring change to Burma.

Made up of former student leaders and prominent activists from the 1988 mass uprising from where the group takes it's name, the 88 Generation Students group was formed on 6th September 2005 by Min Ko Naing, Htay Kywe, Ko Ko Gyi and other prominent student activists in 1988 including Jimmy, Mya Aye, Min Zeya, Aung Thu and Hla Myo Naung. The leaders had already spent many years in prison for their political activities before group was established.

They have carried out a number of campaigns including in October 2006 gathering signatures on a petition calling for the release of all Burma's political prisoners. They delivered the resulting 535,580 signatures to both the SPDC and the United Nations. In November 2006, the group organized a multi-religion prayer campaign to call for peace, help for the victims of recent flooding, and the release of political prisoners, and in January 2007, they called on Burma's citizens to write their complaints to SPDC Chairman Than Shwe in a campaign called "Open Heart". Every Sunday around 100 pro-democracy activists wore white clothing similar to that worn by political prisoners and went to visit the families of political prisoners in an act of solidarity and protest.
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