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Statement about an Imprisoned MP of Burma
Date: : April 12, 2005
According to his lawyer, U Kyaw Khin, the elected representative (MP) of Shan State capital Taunngyi, was sentenced, a second time, to 14 years imprisonment by a local district court on April 8, 2005. Please see appendix

He was given a long term imprisonment because he was accused, by the authorities, of distributing a leaflet describing the list of awards won by Burma's democracy leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi - who is still under house arrest - and photocopying them without permission.

His second arrest occurs only one month and 22 days after his previous release on January 3, 2005; he had been in prison since 1996.

The Military intelligence (MI) frequently arrests political activists in Burma. Last year, however, the current military group ousted the then Prime Minister, General Khin Nyut, and declared to get rid of all MI power. Never the less, the current junta is not only committing arbitrary arrest and torture but also denying political activists their civil and political rights ≠ it can be noted that there is little difference in authority attitude from the previous ruling MI.

The Burmese regime did not honor the express wishes of the Burmese citizens in the 1990 election and does not allow members of parliament to be included within the National Reconciliation process or the constitutional process; instead, the regime constantly places members of parliament, who were elected in the 1990 election, into prison, and also political activists including democratic leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

Therefore we, the AAPP, note that the imprisonment of U Kyaw Khin proves that the current junta in Burma does not abide by its own declaration that "No one is above the law". Moreover, his arrest is breaking various international laws.

We, the AAPP, would like to remind the regime in Burma that arresting and torturing political activists will not aid Burma's national reconciliation and rule of law; only the full and unconditional release of all political prisoners will pave the road towards a fair and proper democratic process. Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma) More information: Please contact; Bo Kyi: 66-1-324 8935

Appendix unofficial translation

(Remarks: The words in the {brackets} are by the translator.) BBC (Burmese Service), London Broadcasted in Burmese language on April 8, 2005

Today, Taunggyi township court gives 14 years imprisonment to elected MP Kyaw Khin of National League for Democracy (Taunggyi township branch). Our BBC correspondent Win Myint of Bangkok bureau interviewed Khin Moe Moe, the lawyer for the defendant. She explains as follow-

The Lawyer: Today, the court made the order. The criminal Trail Number is 21-055. He was sentenced for seven years under the 1950 Emergency Provisions Act, section- 5 j (EPA- 5 j). The other act was law related to printing. He also received seven years for this charge. The court sentenced separately for the two charges. So, he totally received 14 years imprisonment.

BBC: Yes.

The Lawyer: The judge analyzed about the documents and photos belonging to Kyaw Khin. Thereís a sheet which says the list of awards Aung San Suu Kyi received. Her photo is on the sheet. Thereís a sentence on the photo which say "There will be changed because all the military has are guns". The judge said that the sheet is not just a list of the awards and the sentence provokes (for the disorder). Moreover, the judge said that thereís a sentence next to the photo which says "Set her free!". So, he was sentenced {under EPA-e}. Concerning the act related to printing law, the judge said that those documents are printed without the permission and registration. He (received another seven years) as he was not able to prove that those documents are registered.

BBC: Didnít the NLD officially distributed it?

The Lawyer: The judge said that itís photo stat copy and he had illegally copied the sheet distributed by NLD.

BBC: If so, he received imprisonment for a sheet? The Lawyer: The sheet mentioned the list of the awards and the sheet titled in "Burma in 2005, as told by astrologers" broadcasted by BBC {Burmese Service}. Actually, Kyaw Khin didnít distribute it. A tuition teacher found it and gave it to the authorities.

BBC: What will be happened if he appeals on the judgment? The Lawyer: I as well as my client will appeal to the other higher court. He was nothing wrong in this case. We had already decided to appeal even to the high court.


Information Team

Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma)
66 55 545495
P.O Box 93, Mae Sot, Tak 63110, Thiland
http://www.aappb.org - http://www.aappb.net

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All information is © Copyright 1997 - 2006 'Foreign Prisoner Support Service' unless stated otherwise - Click here for the legal stuff