The United States based ‘Human Rights Watch’ on Monday named a Burmese rights activist, Bo Kyi, recipient of its ‘Human Rights Defender Award’ for striving for the release of political prisoners in Burma.

Bo Kyi, co-founder and Joint-Secretary of the Thai-Burmese border based ‘Association of Assistance to Political Prisoners – Burma’ (AAPP-B), was among five activists across the globe that the organization choose to honour with its award.

Bo Kyi, as a student activist was arrested and sentenced to a prison term in 1988 for his involvement in pro-democracy movements and spent seven years in jail. Following his release, he fled to the Thai-Burmese border and founded the AAPP-B, an advocacy group to assist families of political prisoners and work for their release.

AAPP-B, over the years, has been known for its documentation on the situation of political prisoners and advocacy work for their release.

According to the AAPP-B, currently there are over 2,000 prisoners of conscience languishing in jails across the country. The most prominent political prisoner in Burma is pro-democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been detained for more than 12 of the past 19 years.

Beside Bo Kyi, the HRW named four other human rights activists from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka and Uzbekistan.