A lawyer from National League for democracy and his colleague, who are defending for the detained democracy activists on trials, are charged with contempt of the court by the Burmese military regime. On October 30, 2008, during the trial of democracy activists, U Aung Thein (NLD lawyer) and U Khin Maung Shein (private attorney) submitted the withdrawal of their attorney powers as instructed by their defendants, who claimed that the trials are neither free nor fair and therefore, they would not employ attorneys in protest of the unfair and unjust trials. Then the regime’s prosecutor asked the Judge, Daw Aye Myaing, to sue the two lawyers with a charge of contempt of the court. Judge Daw Aye Myaing accepted the charge and set the date of November 6 to hear the case against the two lawyers. They will face the same fate as two other lawyers, who were imprisoned last week.
On October 30, two young lawyers, Nyi Nyi Htwe and Saw Kyaw Kyaw Min, were also sentenced six-month imprisonment by Judge U Thaung Nyunt from Rangoon Northern District Court under the charge of Section 228 of the Penal Code, along with their three defendants. Nyi Nyi Htwe was arrested, imprisoned and sent to Insein Prison. Saw Kyaw Kyaw Min failed to appear before the court and is at large. The judge issued an arrest warrant to arrest Saw Kyaw Kyaw Min.
Prison Transfer of Seven Labor Activists, including Two Whom UN Rapporteur Mr. Tomas Ojea Quintana Met in Prison
Seven activists, who were arrested on May 1, 2007, after attending a May Day event at the American Center in Rangoon and sentenced life imprisonment plus eight years, were transferred from Insein Prison to various prisons in upper Burma. They include Kyaw Kyaw, Thu Rein Aung, Myo Min and Kyaw Min. Two of them, Kyaw Kyaw and Thu Rein Aung were met with UN Special Rapportuer on Human Rights Situation in Burma, Mr. Tomas Ojea Quintana on August 5, 2008 in Insein Prison during his trip to Burma.
Student Leaders’ Trials Continue without Defense Lawyers
On November 3, 2008, Rangoon Southern District Court continued trials of detained members of the 88 Generation Students group in a special court held inside the Insein Prison Compound. Two lawyers of defendants, U Kyaw Hoe and Daw Khin Htay Kywe were asked by security forces to leave from the court room and then again to leave from the prison compound. The Judge continued to hear the 8 cases against the members of the 88 Generation Students without defense lawyers. Some cases were not appointed to hear on that day, Nov 3, 2008. As lawyers are not allowed to present in trials, they are not able to defend for their clients and they are also not informed of the date of next hearing.
Min Ko Naing and the Eight Will Be Tried in Ma-ubin Prison
According to sources, Min Ko Naing and eight members of the 88 Generation Students group who were sentenced six-month imprisonment each by a district court on October 29 and transferred to Ma-ubin Prison in the Irrawaddy Division on Oct 31, 2008, will be tried in Ma-ubin District Court, which will be held inside the Ma-ubin Prison Compound. Police prosecutor Lt. Col Zaw Min Aung left for Ma-ubin yesterday.
Mandalay NLD Leaders Will Appeal Their Sentences
The lawyers for the six NLD leaders from Mandalay Division are planning to submit an appeal for their clients to District Court tomorrow, Nov 5, 2008. Daw Win Mya Mya and five leaders of Mandalay Division Organizing Committee of the NLD were arrested in September 2007 and sentenced ranging from two years to 13-year imprisonment on Oct 24, 2008 by a judge from Aung Myay Thar Zan Township Court, held inside the Oo-Bo Prison Compound. Three lawyers of them, U Myint Thwin, U Myo Swe and U Shwe Hla said that they are ready to submit an appeal tomorrow.
They all were charged with Section 153 and 505 (B) of the Penal Code. Their respective sentences are below.
Daw Win Mya Mya (12-year imprisonment) (Female) (Mandalay Division NLD Organizing Committee Member)
U Kan Tun (12-year imprisonment) (Mandalay Division NLD Organizing Committee Secretary)
Min Thu (13-year imprisonment) (Mogok Township NLD)
U Than Lwin (8-year imprisonment) (Mandalay Division NLD Organizing Committee Deputy Chairman)
Win Shwe (11-year imprisonment) (Kyaukpandaung Township NLD)
Tin Ko Ko (2-year imprisonment) (Meikhtila Township NLD)
The police prosecutors presented some audio tapes, private conversation between Daw Win Mya Mya and members of Mandalay Division NLD and US Embassy officials during the lunch at Shwe Be (Golden Duck) Restaurant in Mandalay, as evidences, during the trial.
Activists’ Trial Moved to Special Court inside the Insein Prison Compound
Today, Hlaing Thar Yar Township Court continued to hear the case against the 11 NLD members, who were arrested in September 2008 for their peaceful march towards the Shwe Dagon Pagoda on June 19, 2007, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s birthday with wearing T-shirt with photo of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on it. They, including Thant Zin Myo, Tin Yu, Win Myint, Yan Naing Tun, Myo Kyaw Zin and Aung Min Naing (aka) Mee Thwe, were arrested on that day and released next day by the authorities. One year later, they were arrested again and charged with an offense for instigation of public unrest and put on the trial before the Hlaing Thar Yar Township Court.
On October 30, 2008, their lawyers Nyi Nyi Htwe and Saw Kyaw Kyaw Min, along with three defendants, Yan Naing Tun, Myo Kyaw Zin and Aung Min Naing (aka) Mee Thwe were sentenced six-month imprisonment each for charge of interrupting and insulting judiciary proceeding. Therefore, they have no defense lawyers on the trial.
During the trial, all defendants, including Thant Zin Myo, Tin Yu, and Win Myint complained the judge for unfair and bias trial. Then judge decided to adjourn the hearing to next week, and the next hearing will be moved to a special court inside the Insein Prison Compound.