Ko Bo Kyi is a former Burmese student activist, political prisoner, and founder of the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.
As a student Bo Kyi participated in Myanmar’s 8.8.88 Uprising, a popular revolt against military rule that reached its turning point on August 8, 1988. On that day, after months of unrest, millions of people took to the streets and called for an end to military rule. The military government’s violent response to the uprising resulted in the deaths of an estimated 3,000 people, and the imprisonment of many more, including Bo Kyi.
Bo Kyi went on to spend seven years and three months imprisoned. He suffered repeated interrogations, beatings and torture, yet he also used his time in prison to learn English, hiding his educational materials every time a guard passed his cell.
Upon his release from prison, Bo Kyi fled to the Burma-Thailand border, where he helped to found the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP). The AAPP works on behalf of current and former political prisoners and their families. It provides them with financial support and medical care, monitors prison conditions, and advocates internationally for the release of political prisoners.
As of 2022, Bo Kyi continues to lead the AAPP as Joint Secretary. He has played a key role in documenting abuses carried out by the military junta since the coup of February 2021.