Dec 14, 2006

Burma: Win Tin Named “Journalist of the Year” by Reporters Without Borders

Below is an abstract of an article published by the Leadership Council for Human Rights:


The Leadership Council for Human Rights wishes to announce that reporter, U Win Tin has been named 2006 “Journalist of the Year” by Reporters Without Borders for his commitment to freedom of the press. Award recipients were announced Tuesday in Paris. U Win Tin was “adopted” by the Leadership Council for Human Rights through a program that pairs organizations with journalists throughout the world that have been imprisoned for political dissent. This program was created by the organization, Reporters Without Borders, which seeks to promote freedom of the press. Reporters Without Borders estimates that there are currently over 130 journalists worldwide in jail on unfair charges.

U Win Tin, a 76 year old Burmese journalist, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for "subversion" and "anti-government propaganda" in 1989. After more than 17 years in prison and despite faltering health and extremely poor prison conditions, the country's most renowned journalist will not give way. In his special cell at Insein jail, near Rangoon, Saya, "The Sage", as his comrades call him, refuses to renounce his commitment to the National League for Democracy (despite being offered his freedom for doing so), robbed by the military junta of a landslide electoral victory in 1990. He continues to call for the unconditional release of thousands of prisoners of opinion held in the country's prisons. U Win Tin was one of the political mentors of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who also remains deprived of her freedom. U Win Tin has been physically weakened by a urinary infection and two heart attacks, but he has not been mentally weakened as he continues to fight from his prison cell.

Because of the conditions under which Win Tin is being held, it is very possible that he remains unaware that he has even received this prestigious honor. LCHR will continue to provide updates on U Win Tin and his condition