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U Win Tin receives treatment for bronchitis

Jul 14, 2008 (DVB), Veteran journalist and long-term political prisoner U Win Tin has received medical attention in Insein prison, where he has been detained for past 19 years, according to a regular visitor.

U Win Tin’s close friend U Maung Maung Khin, who has been visiting the 79-year-old journalist every two weeks, said he had been diagnosed with bronchitis when he was admitted to Rangoon general hospital recently.

U Maung Maung Khin said U Win Tin is now feeling better after taking the medication prescribed by prison doctors for his condition.

Media rights groups such as Reporters Without Borders and Amnesty International recently called for U Win Tin to be released and receive medical attention, but U Maung Maung Khin said U Win Tin expected to remain behind bars.

"He said he’s already been there for 19 years and he doubts he will be free before he reaches 20 years," said U Maung Maung Khin.

"But he said he didn’t really care whether they release him or not , he is still sticking to his strong beliefs."

U Maung Maung Khin said U Win Tin did not want to be released for reasons of age or health.

"U Win Tin said he would only accept being released on political grounds because he was arrested on political grounds, and he wouldn't agree if the government wanted to release him just because he is old," his friend said.

During his time in prison, U Win Tin has made several calls for the release of opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners, for a parliamentary meeting to be convened and for dialogue between the government and the opposition groups.

Reporting by Htet Aung Kyaw

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