Tue 29 Nov 2005
Filed under: Inside Burma,News
Published November 27, 2005
Burmese lawyer Aung Thein was allowed to lodge appeals on behalf of one of the nine Shan leaders who were given lengthy jail terms recently.
After meeting with authorities of remote Kalemyo Prison in northwest Burma on 26 November, Aung Thein managed to obtain ‘power’ letters which authorise him to represent, defend and lodge appeals on behalf of Sai Nyunt Lwin who was sentenced to 85 years in prison. None of the Shan leaders were allowed to be defended by lawyers of their choice when they were detained and tried secretly in Rangoon Insein Jail.
â€œIt is true. He himself signed the letters,â€ Aung Thein told DVB. â€œThere are five cases and so there were five letters. Sai Nyunt Lwin got three life sentences and 25 years. 60 years for three life sentences and it is true that he got 85 years with Act 122-1 and Act 123-A. He got 20 years for ‘disrupting’ the efforts for successfully convening the national conventionâ€.
It is the first time someone was given life sentence for criticising the junta-sponsored constitution-drafting ‘National Convention’.
As there are less than 30 days left for the appeals, lawyers are urgently trying to obtain ‘power’ letters from other detained Shan leaders such as Shan National League for Democracy (SNLD) chairman Khun Htun Oo and Shan State Peace Council (SSPC) patron Gen Hso Ten who were sent to Puta-O and Khamtee Prisons in Kachin State.
All the nine leaders were arrested in February at Shan State capital Taunggyi, and detained and tried in Rangoon Insein Jail. They are still not allowed to see their families since their arrests.