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Burmese democracy advocate, former political prisoner Zin Mar Aung to visit law school

February 12, 2013

Burmese democracy advocate Zin Mar Aung will visit the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law Feb. 14 and 15.

She will meet with Douglas Sylvester, the school's dean, and others to discuss ways to assist Burma in developing a climate of rule of law and constitutionality, to give Burmese law students experience in practical lawyering, and to provide Burmese citizens access to justice, building on the model used in the College of Law’s clinical programs.

Aung is part of a larger delegation visiting Washington, D.C., New York, Dallas and Tempe, in an intensive program of high-level meetings, seminars and roundtable discussions organized by ASU’s McCain Institute for International Leadership.

The visit is intended to further broaden Burma’s democratic network with friends in the United States, provide training to Aung and her colleagues, and explore potential cooperation with U.S. organizations, including the College of Law.

Aung was imprisoned for 11 years for her involvement in Burma’s pro-democracy movement before her release in 2009. She received the 2012 U.S. Secretary of State’s Award for International Women of Courage. She is the co-founder of a women’s empowerment group and currently heads an organization to raise awareness of issues affecting ethnic minorities in conflict areas.

Aung created and leads a self-help association for female ex-political prisoners, as well as a political science school in Rangoon, Burma, which teaches and empowers civil society activists.

“We are honored and privileged to welcome Zin Mar Aung to the College of Law,” Sylvester said. “She is a true symbol of perseverance for human rights, and we look forward to identifying ways in which we can leverage our world-class clinical programs and dedicated students in those programs to not only provide greater access to justice for Burmese citizens, but also to help replicate such a program in Burma itself.” 

Media contact:
Tom Orewyler,