Monday, May 18, 2009

Aung San Suu Kyi trial update: 12.55pm


12.55pm: Diplomats from Britain, Australia, France, Germany and Italy have been denied entry to Insein prison.

Spectators gathered on bridge near to Insein prison.

NLD members attempting to enter Insein prison, and were rejected. Numbers of reporters also denied entry to the prison.

Two people arrested near Insein prison around 8.30am today. Unconfirmed reports say they have been released.

12pm: A United States consul was sent to Insein prison this morning to observe the court hearing of US citizen John William Yettaw, who is being tried on trespassing charges for intruding on Aung San Suu Kyi's compound.

"He was able to enter the compound for observation," said Drake Weisert, deputy Public Affairs spokesperson at the American Embassy in Rangoon.

"We haven't got a word back yet of what he observed inside there."

12.20pm: Journalists outside of Burma have reported difficulties in contacted mobile phones on the ground inside Burma, while reporters in Rangoon say that many phone lines have been cut since Sunday.

11.50pm: All the roads surrounding Insein prison have been blocked with barbed wire and there is a heavy armed police presence.

Militia group Swan Arr Shin and the Union Solidarity and Development Association are also in the area, according to eye witnesses.

Witnesses say that nearby Insein township market was also ordered to close down at 11am this morning by the police and municipal authorities.

Stores and tea shops near the prison have been closed since yesterday.

Armed police members have been deployed inside compounds of nearby monasteries and pagodas while about 20 riot police trucks were seen in the area surrounding the prison.

National League for Democracy (NLD) members who are in the area closely watching the situation said a United States' embassy vehicle was seen entering the prison compounds, and has now left. Suu Kyi's lawyers have also entered the prison.

Family members of inmates inside the prison say no family visits are allowed today.

NLD members said there were around 300 spectators near the prison.

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