Aung San Suu Kyi An­drei Sakharov

Asian Geographic - - Care -

Any discussion about high pro­file po­lit­i­cal pris­on­ers in Asia usu­ally com­mences with “The Lady”. The No­bel Peace Prize win­ner spent 15 years un­der house ar­rest. The daugh­ter of the for­mer prime min­is­ter of Bri­tish Burma (who was as­sas­si­nated), she grew up in In­dia, the US, and Eng­land. Re­turn­ing to Burma in 1988 af­ter years abroad, she met po­lit­i­cal up­heaval un­der the ruth­less dic­ta­tor U Ne Win. Af­ter speak­ing out against his bru­tal­ity, and ac­tively ad­vo­cat­ing for democ­racy and hu­man rights, she was placed un­der house ar­rest in 1989 – and was ar­rested re­peat­edly over the years. She was fi­nally re­leased from house ar­rest in Novem­ber 2010. Five years later, she led the Na­tional League for Democ­racy (NLD) to a ma­jor­ity win in Myan­mar’s first open elec­tion in 25 years. An­other po­lit­i­cal pris­oner to win the No­bel Peace Prize (1975), the Soviet nu­clear physi­cist was im­pris­oned for his dis­sent­ing views on the Soviet gov­ern­ment. He was in­volved in de­vel­op­ing the hy­dro­gen bomb, and thus be­came con­cerned about the nu­clear age. He voiced his dis­con­tent with the arms race, and wrote Re­flec­tion­son Progress,peace­ful­coex­is­tence and­in­tel­lec­tu­al­free­dom in a bid to end it. Due to his crit­i­cism of Soviet po­lit­i­cal re­pres­sion – and in­ter­na­tional ag­gres­sion – he was ex­iled to Gorky in 1980, and placed un­der sur­veil­lance (where he was ha­rassed by the KGB), fol­low­ing his crit­i­cism of the Soviet Union’s in­va­sion of Afghanistan. Mikhail Gor­bachev later re­leased Sakharov, who was sub­se­quently ap­pointed to the Soviet Congress.

“Peace as a goal is an ideal which will not be con­tested by any gov­ern­ment or na­tion, not even the most bel­liger­ent" “Both now and for al­ways, I in­tend to hold fast to my be­lief in the hid­den strength of the hu­man spirit"

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