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World Briefing / MYANMAR

Dissident freed after 19 years

September 24, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

Myanmar's longest-serving political prisoner was freed with more than 9,000 other inmates, days before the first anniversary of the government's crackdown on anti-government protests.

Win Tin, a journalist-turned-activist and aide to pro-democracy opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, was held for 19 years. He was one of at least seven political prisoners released, Amnesty International said.

The rights group said an estimated 2,100 political prisoners are held in Myanmar, formerly Burma, which has been under military rule for 46 years and is one of the world's poorest and most authoritarian nations.

While incarcerated, Win Tin had two heart attacks, hernia surgery and suffered from high blood pressure, diabetes and spinal inflammation, according to news reports. Now 78, he appeared alert and healthy.

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