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Myanmar-born U.S. Computer Scientist Released
March 19, 2010

On March 18, 2010, more than six months after his arrest, Kyaw Zaw Lwin was released from a prison in northern Myanmar and turned over to U.S. consular officials in the capital, Yangon.  His aunt, who lives in Yangon, reported that her nephew was in high spirits but had lost a lot of weight during his incarceration.  He flew to Thailand that evening and has now returned to the United States.  The Myanmar government has not given any explanation for his sudden release.

A 40-year-old computer scientist and well-known human rights activist, Kyaw Zaw Lwin was arrested on September 3, 2009, upon landing at Yangon International Airport for what appears to be his longstanding peaceful efforts to promote freedom and democracy in Myanmar.  He reportedly had gone to Myanmar in the hope of visiting his mother, who is serving a 5-year prison sentence for taking part in antigovernment protests in 2007 and has thyroid cancer, and his sister, also a political prisoner who is serving a 65-year sentence.  The CHR undertook Kyaw Zaw Lwin's case in late 2009 and sent letters of appeal to high-level Myanmar government officials in his behalf.  Fifty-three U.S. members of Congress sent a joint letter to Myanmar's leader urging his release.

For more detailed information on Kyaw Zaw Lwin's case, please see his case summary.