Popular Burmese comedian, film actor, and film director, Zarganar, was sentenced 59 years imprisonment on November 27th. On the same day he was honoured arts awards for human rights (activities?).
The Guardian newspaper mentioned the judges awarded the ArtVenture Freedom to Create Imprisoned Artist prize, worth $25,000 (£16,150), to Burmese satirist Zarganar, who played a prominent part in the country's pro-democracy movement. Last Friday, a court sentenced him to 45 years imprisonment for "disaffection towards state and government''. Zarganar was arrested in June after giving interviews to foreign media in which he criticised the regime's slow response to Cyclone Nargis, which killed more than 84,000 people.
The 47-year-old comedian is a successful producer, director, writer and actor. He frequently upsets officials with his popular satirical jokes about his country's political, economic and social situation. The junta banned him from making public performances in 2006 after he made remarks to foreign media which upset them.
This award is one of several prizes established by philanthropic organisation ArtVenture to recognise "the forgotten front line of artists" across the world.
Recently Comedian Zaganar was also awarded a human rights prize by Canadian PEN.