Fri 31 Oct 2008
Filed under: Inside Burma,News
Nine Burmese student activists, recently sentenced to six months imprisonment, were on Friday transferred from Insein prison in Rangoon to Ma U Pin prison in Irrawaddy Division.88 generation students – Min Ko Naing, Ko Ko Gyi, Hla Myo Naung, Htay Kywe, Mya Aye, Nyan Linn, Phyone Cho, Aung Thu, and Aung Naing – were transferred on Friday morning to Ma U Pin prison after being sentenced to six month prison terms by the Insein prison court on Wednesday.“They were taken away this morning to Ma U Pin prison. It is confirmed that they have been transferred to Ma U Pin,” a family member of Aung Naing told Mizzima.
“They were seen wearing blue prison uniforms and were handcuffed and taken away in a prison van. It is strange that they were transferred, and when I inquired, eyewitnesses said the whole group was taken away,” the family member said.
When contacted by Mizzima, an official at Insein prison also confirmed that the students were relocated to Ma U Pin prison, but declined to give details of why they were transferred.
Aung Aung Tun, the brother of Ko Ko Gyi, said, “This morning I spoke to lawyer Aung Thein and he said it is confirmed that the students have been transferred. He said ‘we cannot worry about other court trials, we can only listen to what will happen to them’.”
On October 29, the student leaders complained that there was no fairness in their trial during a court session at the Northern District Court in Insein prison. The court then charged the students with contempt of court and sentenced them to six months prison.
Family members of the students said they had been ready to go to Insein prison to attend the next court date of the students, scheduled for Saturday.
A family member of Min Ko Naing, who wished not to be identified, added they are worried over the transfer.
Meanwhile, Thaw Zin Min and Wai Lwin Myo, youth members of the National League for Democracy, and a Buddhist monk, Sandimar (a.k.a. Apulay), all arrested during the September 2007 protests, have reportedly staged a hunger strike in Insein prison.
A family member of Wai Lwin Myo said he refused to accept food supplies and was also denied a meeting with his mother, who, on October 27, visited the prison.
“Wai Lwin Myo’s mother on Monday went to the prison but she was not allowed to meet him and also unable to hand over the food that she brought for him,” the family member said.
The three have reportedly staged a hunger strike in demand of security for political prisoners and protection from criminal inmates, who frequently beat them.