Campaign: Urge for immediate release of Burmese musician



Urge for immediate release of Burmese musician

Freemuse joins International PEN’s campaign supporting Win Maw, arrested by Burmese authorities on 27 November 2007. Win Maw is held in the Insein Prison, Yangon, and is said to be seriously ill as a result of torture in detention.

On 7 May 2008 it was reported that Win Maw had been transferred to the prison hospital after a series of interrogation sessions. He is said to have suffered suspected collapsed lungs as a result of ‘water torture’, and to have now contracted pneumonia. His family have been denied access to him for over three weeks, and there are grave concerns for his welfare.

Supporting the opposition
Win Maw is lead guitarist in the music group Shwe Thansin. He was previously imprisoned from 1997-2003 for writing songs in support of Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the opposition. It is probable that his current detention may also be linked to his song writing.

Win Maw is held under article 5 (j) of the penal code with threatening national security. 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

Read more about the case:

Myanmar/Burma: Musician Win Maw arrested

Below you find the letter which Freemuse has sent by fax to his Excellency Mr. U Nay Win, Burmese ambassador at the Embassy of the Union of Myanmar in UK.

Freemuse encourages you to send letters of protest and demands of the release of Win Maw to the nearest Burmese embassy. 

This is the contact information of the embassy in UK: 

His Excellency Mr. U Nay Win
Embassy of the Union of Myanmar
19A, Charles Street
Berkeley Square
London W1J 5DX 

fax: +44 20 7409 70 43
e-mail: melondon[AT]

It is the recommendations of International PEN to send appeals to the diplomatic representative of Myanmar (Burma) in your own country or the one in a country close to you. While the situation in Burma is still critical, letters sent to the officials and authorities in the country may not be received or taken as a priority.

International PEN also suggests writing letters to your national newspapers expressing alarm at events in Burma, and highlighting Win Maw’s case to illustrate the many years of repression in the country.

Myanmar / Burma

Copenhagen, 16 May 2008

Your Excellency Mr. Ambassador U Nay Win,

We are writing to express our concern over your government’s arrest of one of your country’s renowned musicians – Mr. Win Maw.

Win Maw was arrested on 27 November 2007 and is held in the Insein Prison, Yangon. According to our information he is seriously ill as a result of torture in detention.

Freemuse is an international organisation advocating freedom of expression for musicians and composers. We wish to remind your government of the principles of Article 19 and Article 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

Article 19 :
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Article 20 :
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

We would like immediate assurances of Win Maw’s well being and guarantees that he is receiving all necessary medical treatment.

We urge your government to immediately release Mr. Win Maw as well as of all those currently detained in Myanmar in violation of Article 19 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

We would be most grateful for any comments and reflections from your part concerning the arrest of Mr. Win Maw.

Thank you in advance!

Yours sincerely,

Marie Korpe
Executive Director

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