One of Myanmar’s longest serving political prisoners released
Linked with U Win Tin – Burma.
Published on Amnesty International, Sept. 23, 2008.
One of Myanmar’s (Burma’s) longest serving political prisoners was released on Tuesday along with at least six other prisoners of conscience. U Win Tin, a 78-year-old journalist, prominent dissident and senior official in the main opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) party, led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, had been imprisoned for 19 years.
The fate of the other estimated 2,100 political prisoners who are still behind bars in Myanmar remains, however, a cause for concern, according to Amnesty International.
“While the release of U Win Tin and his fellow prisoners is certainly the best news to come out of Myanmar for a long time, unfortunately they don’t even represent one percent of the political prisoners there,” said Benjamin Zawacki, Amnesty International’s Myanmar researcher. “These seven people should never have been imprisoned in the first place, and there are many, many more who should also be released.”
Amnesty International has noted unconfirmed reports that the government of Myanmar may grant “amnesty” to as many as 9,000 prisoners in the run-up to planned elections in 2010. However, it remains unclear whether this figure includes political prisoners.
U Win Tin refused to accept an amnesty by the government, as to do so would have implied that the reason for his imprisonment was legitimate. Reports indicate that there were no conditions on his release … (full text).