PEN Canada - "The Empty Chair", U Win Tin - Can't be at the Festival because he is in prison...
Look for the empty chair in The Art of the Book exhibition. This chair holds a picture of U Win Tin. U Win Tin (born March 12, 1929) is being held prisoner in Burma (Myanmar) because of his senior position in the National League for Democracy (NLD) and for his writings. Arrested in July 1989, he has spent the last 17 years in prison.
U Win Tin is serving a 20-year sentence on charges including "anti-government propaganda."
One of the reasons for his detention is his attempt to inform the United Nations of ongoing human rights violations in Burmese prisons. At 76 years of age, he is in a poor state of health, exacerbated by his treatment in prison, which has included torture, inadequate access to medical treatment, being held in a cell designed for military dogs, without bedding, and being deprived of food and water for long periods of time.
In 2001, U Win Tin was awarded the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize for his efforts to defend and promote and right to freedom of expression. That year, he was also awarded the World Association of Newspapers' Golden Pen of Freedom Award. Since the start of 2006 he has not been able to receive visits from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). [source: Wikipedia] For more information about PEN visit their website. Petitions and info in the gallery.