In Myanmar, a taxi service helps former political prisoners (VIDEO)



Emily Judem

YANGON — Once poised to become a world economic power after gaining independence in 1948, Burma — also known as Myanmar — instead became one of the poorest, most repressed societies in the world. In 1962, military general Ne Win took power and implemented policies that isolated Burma from the rest of the world. It became illegal to criticize the government. Newspapers were censored and anyone that spoke out in opposition was arrested and tried by a military court.

After 14 years in prison, “Shell” Aung Aung co-founded the Golden Harp Taxi Network to support political prisoners after their release. The taxi business provides income and a way for former political prisoners to talk about their time in prison, the human rights violations they experienced, and Myanmar’s new government. 


This piece is part of a new GlobalPost Special Reports/Commentary initiative supported by the Ford Foundation called "Voices." The mission of "Voices" is to present the ideas and opinions of those who are less frequently heard in the media, including women, people of color, sexual minorities, citizens of the developing world and young people. These voices will consistently discuss topics important to GlobalPost Special Reports including human rights, religious issues, global health, economic inequality and democracies in transition.