Burmas longest serving POC has been released!
Amid the reports that Burma’s decided to release 9,000 prisoners for good conduct, Amnesty has learned that U Win Tin – Burma’s longest serving prisoner of conscience who’s been in prison for 19 years – is free at last.
At 78, U Win Tin is well known for his role in the National League for Democracy – Aung San Suu Kyi's party – and for being a journalist who wasn’t afraid of speaking out against the ruling junta.
Earlier this year Amnesty appealed to the authorities for U Win Tin to get medical attention. His poor health has been exacerbated by his treatment in prison, which has included torture, lack of access to medical treatment, being held in a cell designed for military dogs, without bedding, and being deprived of food and water for long periods of time.
Amnesty supporters have long called for U Win Tin’s release so today’s news is certainly very welcome.
But this good news can’t take away from the fact that there are still 2000 other prisoners of conscience in Burma still under lock and key.
Nor can it erase from our memory those dreadful images of the heavy-handed tactics employed by the Burmese security forces to crush the monks’ protests, which began nearly a year ago this week.
Urgent action is still needed from the United Nations Security Council one year on. Nearly a thousand people remain in detention for their part in those protests – each one is at risk of torture. Their situation hasn’t been forgotten or diminished by today’s news.
We’ll be in touch later on in the week to reflect on the one-year anniversary again.
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.