Tuesday, March 31, 2009

More NLD Members Receive Lengthy Prison Sentences

The Irrawaddy News

A court in Rangoon’s Thingangyun Township sentenced six members of the National League for Democracy (NLD) to five years in prison on Monday and extended the sentence of another party member to 18 years, according to sources close to Insein Prison.

It was unclear what the charges were against Tin Mya, the chairman of the NLD’s Thingangyun office, and five other local party members who received five-year sentences. Observers suggested, however, that the timing of the court’s decision was intended to link the six to recent bombings in the former capital.

There were also no details available concerning the ten-year extension of Thingangyun NLD member Ye Zaw Htike’s prison sentence. He was initially sentenced to eight years last November.

Meanwhile, Burma’s military government transferred two other political detainees from Mandalay Prison to prisons in more remote parts of the country.

Than Lwin, the vice-chairman of the NLD’s Mandalay Division headquarters and an elected member of parliament, was transferred to Loikaw Prison in Karenni State on Saturday, while Win Mya Mya, a female NLD party activist, was sent to Putao Prison in Kachin State.

Than Lwin, who is suffering from a serious injury to his left eye, has been serving an eight-year prison sentence since 2007, when he attempted to file assault charges against members of the junta-backed Union Solidity Development Association.

He accused the pro-junta thugs of attacking him in June 2007 while he was returning from a pagoda in Madaya Township, Mandalay Division, where he prayed for NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s release from house arrest.

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