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Win Tin Dies: Journalist and Political Prisoner Suffers Kidney Failure

Image: Win Tin Dies: Journalist and Political Prisoner Suffers Kidney Failure

By    |   Tuesday, 22 Apr 2014 12:42 PM

U Win Tin, the prominent foreign journalist who was imprisoned and tortured for 19 years in Myanmar for opposing military rulers, died Monday in Yangon. His age was alternately reported as either 84 or 85, according to The New York Times.

Win Tin died at Yangon General Hospital from kidney and organ failure, multiple media outlets reported this week. The National League for Democracy, the political party Win Tin helped create with Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, also confirmed his death.

Before his imprisonment, the revolutionary journalist earned his bachelor's degree in English literature, modern history, and political science from Rangoon University, worked for Agence France-Presse, and edited several Burmese newspapers, according to The Times.

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He founded the National League for Democracy along with eight other political activists in 1988 and was promptly thrown in prison a year later. He remained there for 19 years, surviving harrowing conditions that included severe beatings, sleep deprivation, poor healthcare, and barely any food. His sentence was extended twice, the last after he was caught writing to the United Nations, The Associated Press reported.

He was finally freed in 2008 and later wrote a book about his ordeal called "What's That? A Human Hell."

After his release, Win Tin wrote a regular column and broadcast a weekly radio show that often satirized the government. He also started a political publication he had thought of while in jail with other political prisoners, The Times noted.

Win Tin inspired many political opposition leaders with his work over the years.

"He was a great strength to all of us and his continuous support to the democratic movement will never be forgotten," Ko Ko Gyi, a former political prisoner who led Myanmar's unsuccessful 1988 pro-democracy uprising, said in a statement to the AP. "His strength in challenging the military dictatorship was exemplary and his courage in facing illness was admirable."

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U Win Tin, the prominent foreign journalist who was imprisoned and tortured for 19 years in Myanmar for opposing military rulers, died Monday in Yangon.
win tin, dies, myanmar, imprisoned
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2014-42-22
Tuesday, 22 Apr 2014 12:42 PM
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