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Musician Win Maw sentenced to six years in jail for "sending false news abroad"

(WiPC/IFEX) - The Writers in Prison Committee (WiPC) of International PEN strongly protests the six-year prison sentence handed down to leading Burmese musician Win Maw. International PEN calls for his immediate and unconditional release, as well as of all those currently detained in Myanmar in violation of Article 19 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

On 11 November 2008 it was reported that leading Burmese musician Win Maw had been sentenced to six years imprisonment for "sending false news abroad" after sending news reports and video footage to the Norway-based Democratic Voice of Burma radio station during the protests in August and September 2007. According to PEN's information, Win Maw was arrested on 27 November 2007 in a Rangoon teashop and charged under Article 5 (j) of the penal code with "threatening national security". He has since been held in Insein prison, in Myanmar's capital city Rangoon.

Win Maw, aged 46, was lead guitarist in the music group Shwe Thansin, which was one of the top bands in Burma in the 1990s. He was previously imprisoned from 1997-2003 for writing songs in support of Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD).

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