Wed 26 Nov 2008
Filed under: Inside Burma,News
The Burmese regime continued on Wednesday with its program of sending newly convicted political dissidents to prisons in remote parts of the country.
They included two Buddhist monks, Sandar Thiri and Kawvida, of Maggin monastery in Rangoon’s Thingangyun Township, who were transferred from Insein Prison to Buthidaung prison in Arakan State, according to reliable sources.
A youth member of the opposition National League for Democracy, Thein Swe, and Sithu Maung, a member of the All Burma Federation Students Union (ABFSU), were transferred from Insein Prison to Sittwe prison in Arakan State, while a third detainee, Htar Htar Thet, was transferred to Pegu prison in central Burma.
The five had been given sentences of up to 19 years imprisonment.
More than 30 activists sentenced in the recent series of trials were transferred on Monday and Tuesday from Insein Prison to isolated prisons around Burma.
The Thailand-based Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma) says that more than 100 of the 143 dissidents convicted so far have been sent to remote prisons.Â By transferring the convicted dissidents to prisons far from Rangoon, the regime is making it difficult for family members and friends to visit them, isolating them still further from the outside world.
Court proceedings continued this week against 13 members of the 88 Generation Students group, who have already been sentenced to terms of imprisonment ranging from three to five years.
An ABFSU member, Dee Nyein Lin, who has already been sentenced to six and a half years imprisonment, also appeared again in court in Htantapin Township in Pegu Division on Wednesday. No additional sentence was pronounced, sources said.
Court proceedings against 13 members of the 88 Generation Students group are due to continue on Friday. Sources say about 40 dissidents, including volunteers who distributed aid to Cyclone Nargis victims, are still awaiting trial.
Burma’s best-known comedian Zarganar, who has received a sentence of 45 years imprisonment, will reappear in court in Insein Prison on Thursday, sources said. Court proceedings against two who helped him in his relief work, Zaw Thet Htwe and video journalist Thant Zin Aung, who both received 15 years prison terms, will also reappear in court on Thursday.
On Monday, Kyaw Oo and Saw Maung, two members of the dissident group known as Generation Wave, were sentenced to eight year prison terms for offences under Section 13/1 of the Immigration Act and Section 17/1 of the Illegal Organization Act.
The severest punishment handed out by the Insein Court in the current series of trials was 68 years imprisonment, imposed on the prominent Buddhist monk Ashin Gambira, who led the nationwide uprising in September 2007. Fourteen members of the 88 Generation Students group were sentenced to terms of 65 years imprisonment.