UN rights expert call for political prisoner's release | india | Hindustan Times
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UN rights expert call for political prisoner's release

Myanmar's longest serving political prisoner is 76-year-old poet and editor U Win Tin who has been jailed for almost 17 years.

india Updated: Mar 14, 2006 11:51 IST
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A United Nations human rights expert has demanded immediate and unconditional release of Myanmar's longest serving political prisoner 76-year-old poet and editor U Win Tin who has been jailed for almost 17 years as also of more than 1000 other political detainees.

"Win Tin is one of over 1,000 people currently behind bars in Myanmar for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression, assembly and association," the Special Rapporteur on Myanmar of the UN Commission on Human Rights, Paulo Sirgio Pinheiro, said in a statement on Monday.

Several of them, he said, are now elderly or in poor health and in urgent need of medical attention.

"Win Tin, who has been held for protracted periods in solitary confinement, is one of a large number of detainees whose state of health has been severely exacerbated by their conditions of detention and who should be released on humanitarian grounds alone," he said.

Having been sentenced three times since 1989, each time while he was already in prison, he is currently serving a further seven years following a letter of concern he wrote to the UN regarding the ill treatment and poor conditions of political prisoners.

"The Special Rapporteur wishes to take this opportunity to appeal to the Government of the Union of Myanmar to unconditionally release U Win Tin and all remaining prisoners of conscience," the statement said.