Win Tin, 85, a journalist who became Myanmar's longest-held political prisoner after challenging military rule by cofounding the National League for Democracy, died Monday at Yangon General Hospital. He had been hospitalized since March 12 with respiratory problems.

A former newspaper editor, Win Tin was a close aide to opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, another founder, in 1988, of the pro-democracy party. In 1989, she was put under house arrest, and Win Tin was sent to prison for his political activities. His sentence was extended twice for various reasons, the second time for writing a letter to the United Nations.

After he was released, in a general amnesty of prisoners in 2008, he kept wearing his blue prison shirt as a sign of protest against military rule. He continued working with the NLD through Myanmar's transition from military rule to an elected - though army-dominated - government in 2011. He was sometimes critical of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Suu Kyi's conciliatory dealings with the military, but respected her commitment to democracy. - AP