The families of two students held at Insein prison have written a letter to the prison administration department requesting that they be allowed to sit their exams in detention.The families sent their letter on 16 January to the director of the department, which comes under the Ministry of Home Affairs.First-year mathematics student Ye Myat Hein and De Nyein Linn, a final-year geology student, were studying at Rangoon Western University and had taken exams in September 2007 before being arrested later that month for their involvement in public demonstrations.

They were due to resit examinations today in subjects where they needed more marks.

Their families said that the students should be given the opportunity to resit their exams as they have not been convicted of any offence yet.

U Khin Maung Cho, Ye Myat Hein’s father, said the opportunity was important for all students who had been arrested.

“I want my son to be given permission to resit the exam; in fact, I want this permission to be granted to all students in detention,” U Khin Maung Cho said.

“They just peacefully followed the monks during the protests, they didn’t do anything wrong, so I want them to be released, I don’t want their futures to be ruined.”

De Nyein Linn’s mother Daw Htay Htay Win was also worried about her son.

“My son needs to resit four subjects, and I don’t know yet if he will be given this permission or not,” she said.

Copies of the letter were also sent to the minister of home affairs, major-general Maung Oo, and to the minister of education, a professor at Rangoon Western University, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Insein prison administrator.

The mother of final-year law student Honey Oo also sent a letter to the authorities about the examinations.

The students have been charged with disrupting the stability of the state, along with fellow students Sithu Maung, Ye Min Oo and Ko Kyi Phyu.

De Nyein Linn has also been charged with causing public alarm.