February 8, 2010
IFJ Welcomes Release of Burmese Writer and Publisher
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) welcomes the release of Aung Kyaw San, writer and publisher of the Myanmar Tribune, from Taunggyi prison in the Burmese state of Shan, in the country’s east on January 26.
San was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment under the country’s Unlawful Association Act for his involvement as a volunteer in helping in the search and burial efforts after Cyclone Nargis in 2008, according to Burmese media portal Mizzima, operated in exile from India and Thailand.
The sentence was reduced to two years on appeal, with Sun serving two years and seven months’ jail, including the time he was held under investigation before he was released.
The journalist was arrested in 1989 for participating in the popular uprising in Burma in 1988, and also published a journal Myanmar Manager, which was banned in 1996.
“The IFJ welcomes the release of Aung Kyaw San, despite the questionable charges that led to his imprisonment,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.
“San’s release, like that of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, does not however mean Burma’s military rulers are loosening their tight grip on political opposition or a free media.”
Aung San Suu Kyi was released from house arrest on November 13, 2010, immediately after Burma’s general election, which was plagued by allegations of fraud.