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Watchdog Groups Slam Burma for Jailing Sick Journalist 18 Years


Advocates for press freedom are marking the 77th birthday of imprisoned Burmese journalist U Win Tin with renewed calls for his release.

The media watchdog group Reporters Without Borders and the Burma Media Association Monday criticized the Burmese military government for holding the ailing journalist for nearly 18 years.

In a statement, the groups said the inhumanity of the Burmese government is "obvious". They said the regime broke its own laws and promises by refusing U Win Tin the right to early release.

The two groups relayed a statement by the journalist Monday in which he called for resistance against the military regime. U Win Tin said the opposition must not abandon its demands to free all political prisoners.

Reporters Without Borders said that since his arrest on July 4th, 1989, U Win Tin, who is serving a 20 year sentence for anti-government propaganda, has been deprived of his basic rights.

In the past, the prison authorities had promised the International Committee of the Red Cross an early release for U Win Tin.

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