Political prisoners awarded cash assistance

The Hanthawaddy U Win Tin Foundation provided cash assistance yesterday to ex-political prisoners and two former military officers who remain in jail as political prisoners.

The two former military officers were provided Ks 300,000 each (about US$300). Former Major Kyaw Swar Win was imprisoned in Mandalay on charges of violating military discipline after he took part in a nationwide signature campaign for amending Section 436 of the constitution organised by the National League for Democracy and 88 Generation Peace and Open Society.

The other prisoner is ex-warrant officer Aung Kyaw Lin, who was imprisoned in Taungoo for leaking state secrets under the previous government. 

“He was imprisoned for violating military discipline. It is not possible for him to be released,” said the prisoner’s wife, Nan Kaythi. “I visit him once a month. But now it has been about five months since my last visit. He’s been in jail for five years. We have a son and a daughter. I pray for his release. I don’t know what to do.”

This was the 18th donation ceremony held by the foundation. A total of Ks 5.2 million was distributed to 19 former political prisoners and the two former military officers still in prison.

The Hanthawaddy U Win Tin Foundation is a non-profit organisation in Myanmar established by the late prominent journalist Win Tin.

To date, the foundation has granted Ks 147.6 million to 136 ex-political prisoners and 448 journalists.