Jun 30, 2008 (DVB), Two press freedom groups have today called for the release of veteran journalist and National League for Democracy member U Win Tin, whose health has deteriorated in the past few days.
Reporters Without Borders and the Burma Media Association issued a statement calling for the release of the veteran journalist, who has spent almost 19 years in detention.
"It will be exactly 19 years on 4 July since Burma's military arrested Win Tin," the groups' statement said.
"The government, which has a responsibility to protect the life of its citizens, should now release him," it went on.
"He should be moved to a hospital as soon as possible."
U Win Tin, who is 78 years old, has suffered heart problems during his time in prison, and underwent a hernia operation earlier this year.
He is currently suffering from lung problems and severe asthma attacks, which are giving him difficulties eating and sleeping, the groups said.
U Win Tin was arrested in 1989 and has been sentenced to three, ten and seven years' imprisonment by successive secret tribunals held inside Insein prison.
Reporting by DVB