Free Activist Jailed for Posting Image on Facebook

Spencer E Holtaway

Target: Thein Sein, President of Myanmar

Goal: Release ailing activist imprisoned for posting a photo on Facebook.

An activist who was sentenced to three years in prison after he posted a picture on Facebook has been ill, and his family is worried that the prison hospital is not equipped to handle his medical needs. He is a prisoner of conscience and ought to be released immediately. Sign the petition calling for his freedom and demand that he be granted access to adequate medical care in the meantime.

Patrick Kum Jaa Lee shared an image on Facebook of a person stepping on a photo of Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing. He was arrested without a warrant and charged under the Telecommunications Law, which prohibits “extorting, coercing, restraining wrongfully, defaming, disturbing, causing undue influence or threatening to any person by using any Telecommunications Network,” Amnesty International reports. He has been denied bail several times.

Patrick Kum Jaa Lee suffers from a number of medical issues, including high blood pressure, asthma, and gastroenteritis. He has also suffered a stroke while in prison. His family, who have been allowed to visit him, are concerned that he is not receiving proper treatment in the prison’s facilities, and they want him transferred to an outside hospital.

Patrick Kum Jaa Lee ought to be released immediately; as a prisoner of conscience, his right to freedom of expression has been grossly violated. In the meantime, however, he must be granted free access to whatever medical care he needs. Sign the petition and demand justice for Patrick Kum Jaa Lee.

PETITION LETTER:

Your Excellency,

Freedom of expression is one of the most basic internationally-recognized human rights. I am therefore very disappointed to hear about the imprisonment of Patrick Kum Jaa Lee, whose only “crime” was to share a Facebook photo that expressed disdain for Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing. I was furthered saddened to hear that he has been ill and has not had access to the medical care he needs. I demand that he be freed as soon as possible and that he be granted adequate medical attention in the meantime.

Patrick Kum Jaa Lee was arrested at his home without a warrant after he shared a picture on Facebook that depicted someone stepping on a photo of the commander-in-chief. While this certainly conveys disrespect and disdain for the commander, it should by no means be considered criminal; it is a non-threatening, non-violent act of political dissent and is therefore protected under international human rights laws.

Patrick Kum Jaa Lee also suffers from numerous health problems, including chronic asthma, gastroenteritis, and high blood pressure. He has suffered a mild stroke while in prison, and his health continues to deteriorate. His family feels that the prison hospital is not equipped to handle his situation. I therefore ask that he be moved to an outside facility better suited to his needs.

It is important that prisoners be treated fairly, no matter what their “crime.” I urge you to do what is right–release Patrick Kum Jaa Lee and provide him with medical care in the meantime.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Spencer E Holtaway

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