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Journalist U Win Tin released after 19 years in prison

(SEAPA/IFEX) - Burmese journalist U Win Tin, the longest term political prisoner in military-ruled Burma, was released on 23 September 2008, along with 9,000 other prisoners, media reports said.

The Mizzima news agency, a SEAPA partner, said that aside from U Win Tin, who was incarcerated in Burma's notorious Insein prison for 19 years, several other political prisoners were also released.

A report from the Reuters news service quoted U Win Tin as saying, "I will keep fighting until the emergence of democracy in this country."

Also granted amnesty were Daw May Win Maung, who was elected as a member of parliament (MP) in 1990 in Mayankone township, Aung Soe Myint, a MP from Taungoo, and National League for Democracy (NLD) member U Aye Thin, according to NLD spokesperson Nyan Win.

SEAPA, a coalition of press freedom advocacy groups from the Philippines, Thailand, and Indonesia, welcomes the release of U Win Tin. At the same time, the coalition notes that many more political prisoners remain in Burma's jails. SEAPA therefore maintains its call for the immediate and unconditional release of all prisoners of conscience in Burma.

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