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guthrij@xxxxxxx wrote:
>      Human Rights Watch/Asia
>      485 Fifth Avenue
>      New York, NY 10017
>      Telephone: 212 972 8400 ext.290
>      Facsimile: 212 687-9786
>      E-mail: joness@xxxxxxx
>      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                              October 7, 1997
>      For further information:
>      Zunetta Liddell, London  (44) 171 713 1995; (h) 171-278-4485
>      Sidney Jones, New York   (212) 971 8400 ex.290; (h) 718-398-4186
>      Human Rights Watch/Asia expressed deep concern today about Burmese
>      political prisoner U Win Tin, sixty-seven years old, who is reported
>      to be seriously ill and perhaps close to death in Rangoon General
>      Hospital. He was apparently transferred there within the past week
>      from Myingyan jail, known to be one of the worst in Burma. Human Right
>      Watch calls on the Burmese authorities to drop all charges against U
>      Tin Win, to ensure that he has access to adequate medical care and the
>      doctors of his choice, and to allow him to return to his home once he
>      has recovered.
>      U Win Tin, a journalist, was a founder of the National League for
>      Democracy and was imprisoned in October 1989, accused of being a
>      member of the banned Communist Party of Burma.  He was sentenced to
>      fourteen years by a military tribunal in Rangoon's notorious Insein
>      jail and sometime in early 1996 was transferred to Myingyan, a town
>      about 150 miles north of Rangoon.  The transfer meant that relatives
>      and supporters could no longer visit him or send him food and
>      medicines.
>      U Win Tin took a prominent part in a hunger strike in Insein jail
>      in September 1990 and was reported to have been badly beaten.  In 1993
>      and 1994 he was one of four political prisoners to meet with
>      Congressman Bill Richardson.  In photographs taken during the
>      meetings, U Win Tin was seen to be wearing a surgical collar.  He told
>      the congressman he suffered from spondylitis (degeneration of the
>      spine).
>      In mid-1995 U Win Tin was one of a group of eight prisoners
>      accused of sending letters to the United Nations detailing conditions
>      within Insein prison. He was reportedly beaten and kept solitary
>      confinement in the prison's "dog cells" (formerly the kennels for the
>      prison guard dogs). It was later learned that he was sentenced to an
>      additional five years under prison regulations banning the possession
>      of writing materials.  The transcript of this trial, which again took
>      place in Insein jail, was translated and published in full by the
>      exiled All Burma Students Democratic Front (ABSDF) in 1997.
>      **********
>      Human Rights Watch: Mission Statement
>      Human Rights Watch is dedicated to protecting the human rights of
>      people around the world. We stand with victims and activists to bring
>      offenders to justice, to prevent discrimination, to uphold political
>      freedom and to protect people from inhumane conduct in wartime.
>      We investigate and expose human rights violations and hold abusers
>      accountable. We challenge governments and those holding power to end
>      abusive practices and respect international human rights law.
>      We enlist the public and the international community to support the
>      cause of human rights for all.
>      Kenneth Roth is the executive director and  Robert L. Bernstein is the
>      chair of the board.