Saturday, 12 January 2008

Rakhine NLD Secretarys' Appeal Rejected

10 January 2008
Original report by Naw Say Paw, DVB
Translation by Nay Chi U

U Khin Hla, Secretary of the National League for Democracy Party, Rakhine, who is serving 4 years in Than Dwe prison, has had his appeal rejected by Than Dwe' District magistrate's court today, it is reported.

U Khin Hla was arrested on 28 November, put on trial, prosecuted and sentenced to 4 years and 3 months imprisonment on the same day. It is understood that the opportunity-seeking local 'authorities' took advantage of a family dispute to seize him, although the family is now reconciled.

About 7000 locals have already added their signatures to a petition calling for the release of U Khin Hla and also Deputy Secretary Ko Min Aung.

Three monks from Sittwe have been in prison and three others have been detained for interrogation. Ko Ye' Min Oo, a university student from Gwa and three other men have been also detained.

NLD member U Ye' Thein from Boo Thee Daung has been arrested and sent to a psychiatric hospital.

U Than Hlaing, joint secretary of NLD Party, Rakhine said," At this crucial time, all selfishness and pride should be set aside and we should all be concentrating on holding meaningful discussions, for the current and long-term benefit of the country's development and future. It is vitally important that all the political prisoners are released immediately, otherwise the notion of meaningful discussions will be like writing on the surface of water. It would be a farce and not believable, and if meaningful discussions are not going to happen, I am afraid the unnecessary deaths and suffering will continue, like in a vicious circle."

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