|The singer and human rights activist Win Maw has been imprisoned in Burma since 2008. Nevertheless, he continues his struggle for freedom of expression from the prison. In February 2011, Freemuse received three new songs from him.
Win Maw doesn’t give up that easily. On 5 March 2009 he was sentenced to further ten years imprisonment – an addition to the sentence of eight years imprisonment he received in 2008.
His health is heavily affected by the torture and conditions he has experienced in Burma’s concentration-camp-like prisons. But he continues his struggle from within the prison, and Freemuse is proud to present three new songs which have been smuggled out from one of the most repressive countries of this world.
In one of the songs, ‘Go to sleep’, rather than complaining about his own situation in the prison camp, Win Maw urges activists to act instead of just talk. His songs are not the songs of a defeated activist but an activist continuing his struggle.
Reporting from Burma
When Win Maw could no longer perform because of harsh censorship he started sending reports to the Norwegian based ‘Voice of Burma’ (DVB).
His brother Win Zaw told the news provider Irriwaddy:
“In fact, he didn’t mean to become a journalist, yet, his desire to expose the real situation inside Burma turned him into an undercover journalist for an exile news station”
Win Maw later was one of the main contributors to the documentary ‘Burma VJ’ that uncovered Burmese regime brutality. He was arrested for those activities in 2008.
Freemuse has previously protested to the Burmese government, but never received a reply from the regime.
In 2005 Freemuse published a background article to music censorship in Burma in the book ‘Shoot the singer’. The article, written by Irriwaddy editor Aung Zaw, is still one of the few existing overviews of Burmese repression of music:
Myanmar / Burma: Music under siege
Songs by Win Maw
Any royalty should be forwarded to Freemuse.
Go and sleep Idiot
March of Saffron Robe (instrumental)
Relevant information on the internet
The case of Win Maw has also been highlighted by International Pen:
An article in Irrawaddy describes Win Maw’s career:
Win Maw’s case is described in detail by The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners: