Clinic for political prisoners seeks donations

The interior of the Hanthawaddy U Win Tin Foundation Clinic in Yangon’s Botataung Township. Photo: Jacob Goldberg

The Hanthawaddy U Win Tin Foundation is seeking donations of funds and medicine to operate a free clinic for political prisoners and their families, executive committee member Tun Kyi told Eleven.

Named after the late Win Tin, a journalist and founding member of the National League for Democracy, the foundation was established in 2011 to assist current and former political prisoners and their families. Win Tin spent 19 years in jail for criticizing the military junta and attempting to expose its human rights abuses. During his imprisonment, he suffered prolonged torture and mistreatment.

Every three months, the foundation holds prize ceremonies to honor people who have suffered political repression, providing cash prizes to their families to recognize their work.

In June, the foundation backtracked on plans to honor Reuters reporters Wa Long and Kyaw Soe Oo while the two were still on trial and whistleblowing cop Moe Yan Naing. The awards were finally given at the following ceremony in September.

Tun Kyi told Eleven that the foundation’s funds have been drying up in recent years.

“When U Win Tin was alive, there were a lot of donors. But now, there are only a few. With the increasing number of patients and few donors, we need more medicines. I am now happy to see a donor from Dala Township. I hope for more donors,” said Tun Kyi.

He also stressed the need for the government to improve the socio-economic status of former political prisoners and their families by launching rehabilitation programs. He added that doing so would be the only way to ensure that future generations take an interest in politics.

The Hanthawaddy U Win Tin Foundation can be reached via email at huwtfoundation@gmail.com.

Donations can be arranged by calling the following hotline: 09450045000.

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