Friday, 18 January 2008

ICRC Will Be Informed Of Maltreatment In Prisons

17 January 2008
Original Report : DVB

There are many political prisoners, who were charged under one or more different sections of Acts but have not been put on trials, which prolongs their imprisonment and not being given appropriate treatment for their well being. Now, their families are taking actions - demanding Senior General Than Shwe to take responsibility of the situation and sort it all out, as a head of the State. Copy of their letters, dated 16th January, have been also sent to military chief commander of Rangoon Division as well as to The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Families of Ko Than Zaw Myint, Ko Thant Zin Myo, Ko Kyaw Soe Win and Ko San Win, all from Hlaing Thar Yar, who have been detained in Insein prison after protesting for lower commodity price in August 2007, have jointly signed the letter.

Ko Than Zaw Myint's father U Tin Yu explained the need for the action as the prisoners were neither being put on trials nor given permission to see their lawyers.

"They have not been allowed to have representatives so we tried to obtained their general power but the lawyers are not allowed to see them. It is understood that their trial date is 18th January so we got everything ready (to defend at court), but we have been directed to follow to many different offices, where we have been told 'The matter needs to be delt with superiors'. We don't know who those superior persons are. We don't know where to find them."

He pointed that not only the youths have been held for over 5 months but also their charges have been changed from one to another, which explaines the lack of the existance of State's Laws and Legislation.

"First it was 505 b and 147. Then the next week, they were told that their charges had been changed. It just proves the country's unstability situation of Laws and Justice. Public can not trust anything. But then, there is nothing to be trusted. Right from the bottom of the system, everyone seems to be doing whatever they think is the best for them."

When the father heard the news of his son Ko Than Zaw Mying's possible trial on 14 January, he rushed and made many wasted journeys between Kamar Yut magistrate court and Insein prison. (so that he may have a chance to see his lawyer).

Only when he went to the prison yesterday, he learnt that his son was remanded on that day, by a visiting judge, who came to the prison, on that day.

"By about 4 pm, they were gathered in the prison to be told that their trial will be on 28 January. When my son questioned the judge why the ramand wasn't given in court, where it should be, he replied that it was for their own security."

It is reported that some of the detainees are suffering from weaken heart, highblood pressure, etc,. and some suffered the violent physical abuse under Swan Arr Shin militia and USDA (union solidarity and development association) members, during their arrest. However, no one had received appropriate health treatments.

"We were given Barmitones and Paracetamol tablets each, but I am suffering from heart problems. Ko Kyaw Soe Win is suffering from high blood pressure and couldn't even get up but the doctor didn't do anything that is effective."

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