Friday, June 8, 2012

Zarganar to perform in UK

Friday, 08 June 2012 11:33 Mizzima News

Burmese comedian Zarganar will be a guest performer on the popular UK comedy show “No Pressure to be Funny” this weekend.

Zarganar, who was released from prison last year in a presidential amnesty, will appear on the podcast panel show, which is recorded in front of a live audience at London’s Soho Theatre, according to Chortle, a comedy news website.

Nick Revell, who created the show with fellow comedian Alastair Barrie, called Zarganar’s appearance “a very big deal.”

Comedian Zarganar surrounded by well-wishers after this most recent release from prison in October 2011. Photo: Mizzima

‘It can be a depressing experience in this country doing political gags to mainstream audiences and getting a lukewarm response, but here is a man who did political gags in his country and was sentenced to 59 years in jail,” he said.

‘And knew he was running that risk – because he had already been arrested and jailed several times in the late 80s and 90s.”

He called Zarganar “a man with courage” who proved there is power in satire.

Zarganar will also attend a concert for pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi in Dublin on June 18, where the Burmese opposition leader will be given Amnesty International's highest honour by U2 lead singer Bono.

Zarganar was imprisoned after speaking out about government neglect to aid refugees following cyclone Nargis in 2008, which left more than 140,000 people dead.

His case became a major campaign for Amnesty International (AI), which culminated with his release in October last year. Following his release, he appeared on stage in New York at the first of Amnesty’s Secret Policeman’s Ball to be held outside the UK.

There he didn’t crack jokes, and he sincerely thank AI for its work defending free speech and human rights around the world.

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