April 21, 2022
Today marks the eighth anniversary of the death of former political prisoner, founding member of the National League for Democracy, and Hantharwaddy journalist U Win Tin.
For his fearless behavior to free people in Burma from the military dictatorship, U Win Tin was set up with false charges by the then military junta and given extensive prison sentences. During his time in prison, the journalist was tormented in many ways and on constant basis, both mentally and physically. He was evicted from his apartment. He was revoked of his right to receive pension. He also lost all his teeth due to the torturous interrogation sessions. He was denied nourishment with hard rice and raw soup for his teeth-less mouth.
U Win Tin developed stomach problems for which he was denied treatment for five whole years. The prison refused to let him seek treatment for heart issues which became a chronic issue and eventually led to his death. He documented everything he experienced inside the prison for almost 20 years, with no one to contact, and enduring isolation inside his cell. In his autobiographical book “What’s that? A Human Hell”, readers understand the hellish experience U Win Tin endured.
After he was released from the prison, he wore the prison uniform – blue shirt and longyi – to his death to make a statement, campaigning for the release of all political prisoners. All domestic and international supporters of Burma’s democratic movement symbolically adorn the blue shirt on April 21, to campaign for the release of political prisoners still inside Burma.
It has been over a year since the military junta attempted to illegally seize power in a coup d’état. People’s resistance, in many shapes and forms, has continued for over a year. 10,271 political prisoners, 996 of whom have been sentenced whilst 9,275 await trial, remain unlawfully detained since the Spring Revolution. The terrorist group has been arbitrarily detaining, torturing and imprisoning dissidents, so they can have power.
The unconditional and immediate release of all political prisoners is the first step to move Burma forward into a federal democracy. We urge international leaders like at the UN, EU, ASEAN, US, Japan, and South Korea to put further pressure on the junta to release all political prisoners.
We also request people in Burma to remember that political prisoners remain behind bars and suffer brutal oppression by the junta. Do not forget them or their family members who face grueling challenges. Please help them as much you can.
Release all political prisoners right NOW!
We must win this revolution
Assistance Association for Political Prisoners