Zarganar was released on 12 October 2011. Since his release he has thanked
all of those who campaigned for his release and asked them to keep pressing
for the release of all other political prisoners in Burma.
Index on Censorship
Elections are scheduled to take place in 2010. Human Rights Watch said in September 2009 that all political prisoners must be released if these are to have any credibility. "Despite recent conciliatory visits by UN and foreign officials, the military government is actually increasing the number of critics it is throwing into its squalid prisons," said the organisation.
It also said that Buddhist monks in Burma face continuing repression, intimidation and harsh prison sentences two years after the military government's brutal reaction to peaceful demonstrations. On 22 September 2009, 127 political prisoners were released from prisons in Burma. State-run TV said a total of 7,114 prisoners were being released â€śon humanitarian groundsâ€ť. Some 43 members of Aung San Suu Kyiâ€™s National League for Democracy party were set free, including three MPs. No leading opposition figures were released in the amnesty.
â€śWe are happy for those political prisoners released, and for their loved ones. But from a political perspective, this is just a cynical ploy designed to ease international pressure. There can be no real progress towards democracy in our country until all political prisoners are released,â€ť said The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma).
Zarganar was not among those released.
On 14 July 2010, Zarganarâ€™s father, 87 year old Burmese author Nan Nyunt Swe passed away but his son was unable to attend his fatherâ€™s funeral.
According to Zarganarâ€™s sister-in-law, Ma Nyein, shortly before his death and knowing full well that he would not see his son again, Nan Nyunt Swe composed a short poem recounting the birth of his three children and the joys and difficulties of bringing them up.
â€śIt's very important that I give this poem to [Zarganar],â€ť said Ma Nyein. â€śBut right now, I don't know if I can even do that.â€ť
According to recent reports, Zarganar is currently unable to receive family visits having stood up for the rights of a fellow political prisoner, to the annoyance of the prison governor.