New York, July 18, 2001–CPJ welcomes the release today of San San Nwe, a journalist, novelist, and political activist who was jailed by the Burmese military government in August 1994 on charges of spreading information damaging to the state.
She was released along with 10 other members of the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD), according to an official statement issued by the junta.
“While we celebrate the release of San San Nwe, we are sobered by the fact that journalists in Burma remain extraordinarily vulnerable to imprisonment and official harassment,” said CPJ executive director Ann Cooper. “We hope that the military regime in Burma will release all jailed journalists and will also undertake broader reforms to guarantee press freedom.”
San San Nwe, now in her mid-50s, served nearly seven years of a 10-year sentence for allegedly “fabricating anti-government reports” and sending them to foreign media and foreign embassies. She had been jailed previously for her involvement with the NLD, the party led by Nobel laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. In 1990, the NLD won an overwhelming victory in general elections, but the junta refused to honor the results and cede power.