Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Nargis volunteer sentenced to 10 years imprisonment - Ko Khin Maung Win

by Myint Maung

New Delhi (Mizzima) – An individual arrested while undertaking volunteer relief services for victims of Cyclone Nargis was yesterday sentenced to ten years imprisonment by a court in Rangoon's outlying district of South Dagon.

Khin Maung Win (29), a resident of South Dagon Township, yesterday at approximately 2 p.m. was sentenced to ten years imprisonment with hard labor, having been found guilty of establishing an unlawful organization and undertaking an illegal border crossing.

"Ko Khin Maung Win was given five years under an unlawful organization case and another five years through the Immigration Act, totaling ten years", Rangoon lawyer Nyi Nyi Hlaing, who is familiar with this case, told Mizzima.

An eyewitnesses heard Khin Maung Win reciting a poem written by 88 Generation student leader Min Ko Naing, 'I'll plant the fighting peacock flag on the classroom walls', as he was boarding a prison van to take him back to Insein prison following the sentencing.

Khin Maung Win is a member of the anti-junta organization 'New Generation' and was arrested on the 10th of October last year while acting as a relief campaign volunteer in storm ravaged areas of the country. Cyclone Nargis, which struck Burma on May 2-3 of last year, left around 140,000 people dead or missing.

Previously, Khin Maung Win worked in Malaysia and was forced to return illegally to Burma after losing his passport abroad.

"Most Burmese citizens who lose their passport return to Burma illegally. But only Ko Khin Maung Win was punished because of his political activities," Nyi Nyi Hlaing iterated.

The 'New Generation Group for Justice', of which Khin Maung Win is reportedly a member, was formed in March 2008 by youth in Rangoon who subsequently took part in the 'Red' and 'NO' campaigns associated with drumming up support in opposition to the junta's draft constitution, which was put to a referendum in May of last year.

Khin Maung Win officially married Pan Phyu Phyu Pwint (29) on the day of his sentencing by signing a marriage deed at the main entrance to Insein prison in the presence of the parents of both the bride and groom.

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