15 May 2008

Alert

Pro-democracy musician detained, reportedly very ill following torture, faces possible prison term


Incident details

Win Maw

(WiPC/IFEX) - WiPC is gravely concerned for the well-being of leading Burmese musician Win Maw, who was arrested on 27 November 2007 and is said to be seriously ill as a result of torture in detention. International PEN seeks immediate assurances of Win Maw's well being and guarantees that he is receiving all necessary medical treatment. WiPC calls for his immediate and unconditional release, as well as of all those currently detained in Myanmar in violation of Article 19 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

According to WiPC's information, popular Burmese musician Win Maw was arrested on 27 November 2007 and is held in Insein Prison, Yangon, charged under article 5 (j) of the penal code with "threatening national security". News of his arrest has become known to WiPC only in recent days. If convicted, he faces up to seven years in prison. His arrest is thought to be part of the wider crackdown on pro-democracy activists.

Win Maw is lead guitarist in the music group Shwe Thansin, which was one of the top bands in Burma in the 1990's. He was previously imprisoned from 1997-2003 for writing songs in support of Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD). It is thought that his current detention may also be linked to his song writing, although confirmation is needed.

It was reported on 7 May 2008 that Win Maw had been transferred to the prison hospital after a series of interrogation sessions carried out by officials of the Military Security Affairs. He is said to have suffered suspected collapsed lungs as a result of "water torture", and to have now contracted pneumonia. His family has been denied access to him for over three weeks, and there are grave concerns for his welfare.



Source

International PEN
Writers in Prison Committee
International PEN
Brownlow House
50-51 High Holborn
London WC1V 6ER
United Kingdom
wipc (@) internationalpen.org.uk
Fax:+ 44 0 20 74050339
Burma

IFEX members working in this country 1

 
More from Burma
  • Freedom on the Net 2017: Myanmar

    At least 61 people were prosecuted for online speech under the new NLD administration, a dramatic increase from last year; several were held for weeks without bail, and some were sentenced to prison

  • Freedom of the Press 2017: Myanmar

    Journalist Soe Moe Tun was murdered in December while reporting on the illegal logging industry. Separately, two journalists were threatened by bomb blasts outside their homes.

  • Burma HRW Report: Events of 2016

    Restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression and assembly persist, amid the government's failure to contend with the range of rights-abusing laws that have been long used to criminalize free speech and prosecute dissidents.As part of the military's "clearance operations" in northern Rakhine State, where thousands of Rohingya Muslims face rampant and systemic human rights violations, the authorities denied independent journalists access to the region since early October.

 
More from Asia & Pacific
  • TRUTH VS MISINFORMATION: THE COLLECTIVE PUSH BACK

    SOUTH ASIA PRESS FREEDOM REPORT 2018-2019

  • The Campaign for Justice: Press Freedom in South Asia 2013-14

    Journalism in South Asia is far from an easy profession, as the 12th annual review of journalism in the region "The Campaign for Justice: Press Freedom in South Asia 2013-14" portrays. But this year's report also tells the story of the courage of South Asia's journalists to defend press freedom and to ensure citizens' right to information and freedom of expression in the face of increasing challenges to the profession and personal safety.

  • THE STORIES WOMEN JOURNALISTS TELL: Women in Media in South Asia

    The report is the first created by the South Asia Media Solidarity Network (SAMSN) looking specifically at the experience of women journalists in the South Asia sub-region