Sai Zaw is a photojournalist based in Yangon, Myanmar. He has worked, since 2013, for the Yangon-based Irrawaddy news agency, an independent publication covering Burman and South East Asian news. Being involved in Burman media since 2008, he has worked as a reporter for a local journal, and as a video journalist for a local TV-channel providing nationwide news and entertainment programs.
This photograph shows a protesting student being beaten by police during a government crackdown on student demonstrations in Letpadan Township, Bago Region, Myanmar. The student protestors believed that the newly passed education bills were not decided democratically by the government. The protestors walked from Mandalay to Yangon – a distance of over 400 miles. During the protest, police blocked the path of the demonstration just before the city of Yangon and beat the students and their supporters; over one hundred students were brutally beaten by batons and arrested indiscriminately.
The Allard Prize Photography Competition jury selected this photograph as it illustrates the courage one must have to stand up for their rights against those in power.