Blogger Nay Phone Latt has been released from prison. Latt was arrested in 2008 after using his blog to share poetry, political criticism and social commentary in Myanmar (the country formerly known as Burma).
Yahoo! News reported that Myanmar’s government pardoned Latt and approximately 650 others under a massive act of prisoner amnesty. The Guardian has uploaded a gallery of photos chronicling this event; the first two feature Latt and his family.
Here’s more from PEN’s announcement: “[In November 2008, Latt] was sentenced by a specially-assembled court to a combined 20 years and six months in prison for blogging about the military crackdown against a popular uprising during the fall of 2007…On February 20, 2009, a court in Rangoon reduced his sentence by eight and a half years, leaving him to serve 12 years in Pa-an Prison in Karen State, 135 miles from Yangon.”
In 2010, Latt was honored with the PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award. That same year, TIME magazine recognized him in their annual “TIME 100” list under the “Heroes” category; his TIME profile piece was written by Midnight’s Children author Salman Rushdie.