Democracy activist, Person
Who is U Gambira?
U Gambira, is a leader of the All-Burma Monks' Alliance, a group which helped lead the 2007 protests against Burma's military government. Following the protests, he went into hiding and published two editorials critical of the Burmese government in the Washington Post and The Guardian on 4 November 2007. He was arrested the same day.
In October 2008, he was sentenced to 68 years in prison, including 12 years hard labor; the sentence was reduced to 65 years on appeal. Gambira reportedly protested his imprisonment by organizing chanting with other imprisoned monks, boycotting his trial, and going on hunger strike. Human rights groups including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch also protested his imprisonment.
Gambira was released during a mass pardon of prisoners on 13 January 2012 as part of the 2011–2012 Burmese political reforms. He ceased to be a monk in April 2012, stating that he had been unable to find a monastery to join due to his status as a former prisoner. He was re-arrested at least three times in 2012, and as of 11 December 2012, was released on bail.