MP-elect Dr Than Nyein released from prison

Sep 23, 2008 (DVB), Dr Than Nyein, elected representative for Kyauk Tan township and long-term political prisoner, was released from Pyay prison at around 4pm today.

Dr Than Nyein was detained at Insein prison for seven years and for almost four years at Pyay and has suffered serious health problems while in prison.

Dr Than Nyein said he had only been informed this morning that he would be released.

"We don't know if many political prisoners have been released, I only know that many ordinary prisoners were released," he said.

"There are not many political prisoners in Pyay prison. I learned that I was the only political prisoner released."

Dr Than Nyein said he would continue to need medical treatment, which he said had been difficult to access when he was moved from Insein to Pyay.

"I have diseases can’t be cured. They are there because I am getting older. I have to continue to see doctors to treat them," he said.

"As for medication, it was much more convenient in Rangoon. There, it was close to specialists. When I was sent to the outer regions, it was not perfect. They can't do much here."

Daw Khin Aye, Dr Than Nyein's wife, said she was pleased her husband would now be able to seek medical treatment.

"I am very happy that someone in poor health will now have a chance to get treatment," she said.

Dr Than Nyein and his wife are now on their way back to Rangoon.

During his time behind bars, Dr Than Nyein said he was allowed to read permitted books and had received visits from the International Committee of the Red Cross four or five times.

Dr Than Nyein was arrested in 1997, the night after he had been stopped on the way to a meeting at the Mayangone NLD office with leaders such as Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, U Tin Oo and U Kyi Maung.

He was originally sentenced to seven years' imprisonment but this was later extended.

"It should not have been done, because they held me for seven years and there were no problems during those seven years," he said.

"I believe they are wrong in assuming that I am a danger to the country."

Dr Than Nyein called for cooperation to solve the problems facing Burma.

"I want the problems to be solved among us with amity; because this problem happened during our time, we can say that it happened because of us," he explained.

"Therefore, I want to solve the problem that was caused by us before we die. If we leave this problem for later generations, I think it is unfair. That’s why I think it is best if we work together."

Reporting by Nan Kham Kaew

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