Myanmar’s longest-serving political prisoner hospitalized

December 5th, 2008 - 1:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Yangon, Dec 5 (DPA) Win Tin, 79, Myanmar’s longest serving political prisoner who was released from prison three months ago, has been hospitalized, family members confirmed Friday.”He had low blood pressure and difficulty breathing so we sent him to Yangon Medical Centre in Yangon at 7.30 pm Thursday,” a relative of Win Tin’s told DPA.

Win Tin was released Sep 23 after serving 19 years in prison.

A central executive member of the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) party, Win Tin was released under a broad government amnesty that included more than 9,000 prisoners, most of them common criminals.

Win Tin was a prominent journalist, before he was arrested in 1989 and spent 19 years in prison.

Upon his release, Win Tin told a handful of journalists that the country’s military rule must end, and he will “keep fighting until the emergence of democracy” in Myanmar.

Win Tin was arrested in July 1989, and three months later was sentenced to three years, but in 1992 before his release he was sentenced to an addition 11 years.

Long prison terms for politcal opponents of Myanmar’s ruling junta are common. Myanmar has been under military rule since 1962.

Myanmar’s courts last month sentenced dozens of political activists to 65 years in jail for participating in demonstrations in August and September 2007.

The country’s main opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has spent at least 12 of the last 19 years under house arrest.

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