Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Support Free Speech in Burma!


Reporters Without Borders (website HERE)has a PETITION calling for the immediate release of Win Tin, one of Aung San Suu Kyi's mentors. You can sign the petition HERE.

According to Reporters Without Borders' 2007 Worldwide Press Freedom Index, Burma is rated 164. China is 163. You can view the index HERE. The Irrawaddy has posted an article on the dangers of reporting in Burma HERE.

Win Tin, one of the political mentors of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, continues to serve his 20-year prison sentence. He is regularly offered freedom in exchange for a signed promise to give up all political activity. But "Saya" (Teacher), as his friends call him, has always refused to cut such a deal and break his ties with the National League for Democracy, which was cheated out of its landslide victory at the 1990 general elections.

He was convicted of "subversion" and "anti-government propaganda." In 1996, he was held for five months in a dog-kennel at Rangoon's Insein prison. He has since had two heart attack and lost most of his teeth. Now 75, he has been shuttling back, and forth between his cell and the spartan prisoners' wing of Rangoon hospital for the past few years.

These days, Burma's military rulers treat him with a little more respect and he now has his own cell. But he is still not allowed to write anything.

He was arrested in July 4, 1989 for simply expressing his right of expression, which is guaranteed under Article 19 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Please help set him free HERE. (