UNESCO.ORG | Education | Natural Sciences | Social & Human Sciences | Culture | Communication & Information

WebWorld

graphic element 1

Communication and Information Resources

graphic element 2

News

Communication and Information Sector's news service

Director-General welcomes Myanmar’s release of U Win Tin, laureate of 2001 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano Press Freedom Prize

24-09-2008 (Paris)
Director-General welcomes Myanmar’s release of U Win Tin, laureate of 2001 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano Press Freedom Prize
U Win Tin after his release
© RSF
The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, expressed his “immense joy” over the release by the authorities of Myanmar of U Win Tin, the 2001 laureate of the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano Press Freedom Prize, after 19 years in prison.
“It is with immense joy that I welcome the release of U Win Tin,” the Director-General said. “In freeing U Win Tin and other prisoners, the authorities have taken a wise and positive step towards respecting the fundamental human right of freedom of expression, an indispensable component of democracy and rule of law.”

Aged 79, U Win Tin is the former editor of the daily Hanthawati newspaper, vice-chair of Myanmar's Writers' Association and a founder of the National League for Democracy, which is led by Aung San Suu Kyi who remains under house arrest.

He was arrested in July 1989 and was accused of belonging to the banned Communist Party of Myanmar. Condemned to 14 years jail, he received an additional sentence of five years in 1996 for breaking prison regulations prohibiting the possession of writing materials.

The Director-General of UNESCO repeatedly called for the release of U Win Tin invoking both the fundamental human right of freedom of expression and humanitarian grounds.

UNESCO is the only United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom. Article 1 of its Constitution requires the Organization to “further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations.” To realize this purpose the Organization is required to “collaborate in the work of advancing the mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples, through all means of mass communication and to that end recommend such international agreements as may be necessary to promote the free flow of ideas by word and image…”
Director-General welcomes Myanmar’s release of U Win Tin, laureate of 2001 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano Press Freedom Prize
U Win Tin after his release
© RSF

Related themes/countries

      · Myanmar
      · Press Freedom: News Archives 2008
Share this story:
  • co.mments
  • del.icio.us
  • digg
  • Furl
  • Ma.gnolia
  • NewsVine
  • Reddit
  • Shadows
  • Simpy
  • YahooMyWeb