U Win Tin tells UN's Quintana of rights abuses

Aug 13, 2008 (DVB), Long-term political prisoner U Win Tin condemned the Burmese government's treatment of political prisoners in a meeting with the United Nations rights envoy, according to U Win Tin's friend U Maung Maung Khin.

Veteran journalist U Win Tin met Tomas Ojea Quintana, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Burma, for 45 minutes on 4 August, U Maung Maung Khin said.

U Maung Maung Khin said U Win Tin had thanked Quintana for UN efforts to secure his release but said he wanted freedom for all political inmates, not just himself.

"Apparently, he also informed Mr Quintana about the inmates who were kept in prison after they had served their prison terms and were due for release and that it was a violation of human rights to treat them this way," U Maung Maung Khin said.

"He told him about [comedian and activist] Zarganar and [88 generation student leader] Min Ko Naing too."

U Maung Maung Khin said U Win Tin had not given up on his strong political stance during his imprisonment.

"He said he had been in prison for 19 years of his 20-year sentence and that he was designated a criminal inmate by authorities instead of being called a political inmate and had not had a day reduced from his term , he said that was a violation of his rights," U Maung Maung Khin said.

"He said his political stance , which calls firmly for the release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and all political prisoners and the convening of a parliamentary meeting , had not changed yet," he said.

"He told Mr Quintana he would only want to be released on political grounds as when he was arrested but that he would want to be released with a favour of just being old."

Reporting by Htet Aung Kyaw

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