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U Win Tin's health deteriorates in prison

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

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