Mon 25 Jan 2010
Filed under: Inside Burma
New Delhi – The Thai based Assistance Association for Political Prisoners – Burma (AAPP-B) has called for the release of poet Saw Wei at the earliest possible date, as his release was set for the 21st of this month.Poet Saw Wei was arrested on the 21st of January 2008 after his poem entitled ‘February 14’ which cryptically included the stanza ‘Power crazy senior general Than Shwe’ appeared in the Love journal. He was later charged with committing disaffection to the State and sentenced to two years imprisonment along with his judicial custody term, AAPP-B said.
“In fact, his judicial custody term must be deducted from his prison term starting from the date of his arrest. But the court counted his judicial custody starting from the date of trial commencement. So, the previous three months custody means unlawful custody. In this way he is losing his lawful rights. We call for the immediate release of poet Saw Wei,” exclaimed AAPP-B Joint-Secretary Bo Kyi.
Lawyer Soe Min added, “The Insein prison special court judge pronounced his judgment to serve his sentence along with his custodial term concurrently. His custodial period started from the 21st of January when he was arrested.”
In hope of his being released, his wife Nan San San Aye visited Yemethin prison in Mandalay Division where he is being held, though authorities informed her she must return home.
Rangoon-based lawyer Aung Thein said, “The police and judicial custodial term does not start from the arrest date. They usually count the custodial period starting from the commencement of the trial. So there is a discrepancy in the custodial period resulting from a counting method. In fact, the Criminal Procedure Code clearly stipulates that the custodial period must be counted from the arrest date.”
Advocate Aung Thein, who has represented many cases involving political prisoners, has since had his advocate license revoked.
Nan San San Aye said that during her prison visit with her husband, she further learned that the poet is suffering from dysentery and eye disease.