CJFE Welcomes Release of Burmese Journalist and Writer San San Nweh

Wednesday, July 18, 2001
CJFE Welcomes Release of Burmese Journalist San San Nweh Canadian Journalists for Free Expression has expressed its satisfaction over today's announcement by the Myanmar military government that it has released journalist and writer San San Nweh. She was released from prison on Wednesday along with ten other members of the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD), which is led by pro-democracy figurehead Aung San Suu Kyi. "We welcome the news of San San Nweh's release and hope that it signals improved relations between the government and the NLD," said CJFE Executive Director Sharmini Peries. "However, we wish to emphasize that she should never have been imprisoned and that, after seven years of detention, she leaves in poor health." San San Nweh, who was a recipient of CJFE's International Press Freedom Award in 1998, was arrested in 1994 and sentenced to ten years in prison for "producing and sending anti-government reports to international radio stations and foreign journalists passing through the country." She reportedly suffers from kidney infection, arthritis, partial paralysis, high blood pressure and eye problems. In the four years before her arrest, San San Nweh had been banned from printing any articles or literature. Up to that point she had written 12 novels, several non-fiction books, scores of poems and hundreds of short stories. The NLD won Myanmar's last general election in 1990 by a landslide but was never allowed to govern. Over the last decade its members have faced harassment, arrest and imprisonment. In addition, at least twelve journalists remain in prison in the country. Fir further information, please contact CJFE, 489 College Street, Suite 403, Toronto, Ontario, M6G 1A5, tel: 416-515-9622, fax: 416-515-7879, E-mail: cjfe@cjfe.org.

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