Blue Shirt for Burma Day on April 21 calls for the immediate release of all political prisoners. The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) states that the military has carried out 21,467 politically-motivated arrests since the 2021 coup. Prominent pro-democracy figures around the world posted pictures online wearing blue shirts with calls to release political prisoners in Burma, or with the name of someone currently jailed by the military scrawled on their hands.
Blue Shirt for Burma Day was launched two years ago to commemorate the life of U Win Tin, a prominent Burmese pro-democracy activist and journalist. U Win Tin spent 19 years in prison for his life-long conviction that democracy would triumph over dictatorship. When released in 2008, U Win Tin vowed to continue wearing the blue shirt from his prison uniform until the last political prisoner in Burma was freed. U Win Tin died on April 21, 2014. In his dying days, he never wavered in his beliefs that the military couldn’t be trusted to share power with a democratically-elected government. The 2021 military coup proved U Win Tin correct. At least 17,563 are being held by the current military regime. Of this, 152 have been sentenced to death.