Two More Lawyers Imprisoned
Two lawyers from the National League for Democracy party, U Aung Thein and U Khin Maung Shein were sentenced four-month imprisonment each by the Supreme Court today. The Supreme Court Justice U Myint Thein delivered the sentences to two lawyers in their absent and sent arrest warrants to Rangoon Division Police Department. The police will arrest the lawyers and send them to Insein Prison soon.
U Aung Thein and U Khin Maung Shein were sued by Judge Daw Aye Myaing from Hlaing Township Court before the Supreme Court on October 30, 2008, with Section 3 of the Contempt of Court Act.
The two lawyers were defending four activists from Htan Tabin Township, arrested since September 2007, before Hlaing Township Court. They are Maung Maung Latt (male), Tun Tun Oo (male), Aung Kyaw (male) and Htar Htar Thet (female). As instructed by the four defendants, U Aung Thein and U Khin Maung Shein submitted their withdrawal letter of attorney powers to the Court. In the withdrawal letter, they wrote that as their clients do not belief in the judiciary system and they found that the Court is under the control of the authorities, they would no longer need defense lawyers and they would not longer cooperate with the court. Township Judge reported the withdrawal paper to Chief Justice U Aung Toe and U Aung Toe instructed her to sue U Aung Thein and U Khin Maung Shein with Section 3 of the Contempt of Court Act at the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court heard the case from both prosecutor and the two lawyers on Nov 6, 2008 and made the decision on Nov 7, 2008.
As this imprisonment was delivered by the Supreme Court, the lawyers have no chance to appeal and they decided not to appeal. U Aung Thein and U Khin Maung Shein are now at their homes, waiting for the authorities who will bring them to Insein Prison.
They are representing more than one hundred cases of the detained Burmese democracy activists, including Min Ko Naing and members of the 88 Generation Students, Monks’ leader U Gambira, labor activist Su Su Nway, cyclone volunteers Zaganar (aka) Thura and Zaw Thet Htwe. While the lawyers are sent to the prison, trials of detained democracy activists will continue without defense lawyers. Experts believe that their attorney licenses might be suspended by the authorities to stop them defending for the activists.
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.
Two More Journalists Arrested and Imprisoned
The Burmese military junta’s court imprisoned two more journalists on Nov 5, 2008. Khin Maung Aye (Editor) and Tun Tun Thein (Reporter) of the News Watch Journal were arrested by police on the night of November 7, 2008 and sent to Insein Prison. They were sentenced three-month imprisonment each by Bahan Township Court in their absent.
They were punished for an article, written by Tun Tun Thein, and edited by Khin Maung Aye and published in the journal in July, which exposed corruptions among the legal officers and judges.
Two More Monks Imprisoned
On November 6, 2008, Sanchaung Township Court delivered harsh sentences to two senior monks. U Indaka, senior Abbot of Maggin Monastery, received 16 years and six month imprisonment and another monk leader U Eindriya, also from Maggin Monastery, received 8 years imprisonment. They were arrested since September 2007 for their leading role in the monk-led peaceful protests that shake the whole country in September 2007. They are also facing several more charges and they will receive more sentences in near future.
Maggin Monastery was also targeted by the authorities for allowing democracy activists to hold ceremonies there and providing sanctuary for HIV/AIDS patients, who came from remote region to get treatment from some relief organizations in Rangoon. The junta’s security forces brutally raided the monastery in September 2007 and arrested over a dozen monks and lay people from the monastery. Some of them were released one month later. Later, the authorities shut down the monastery and removed the remaining monks, novices, lay people and HIV/AIDS patients from the monastery by force.
One More Activist Imprisoned
On November 6, 2008, South Okkalapa Township Court delivered two-year imprisonment to Hnin Nwe Moe (aka) Hnin Hnin (female, 30-year old). She was arrested since September 2007 and charged with Section 295 of the Penal Code for her donation of water and food to the monks, who were peacefully marching in the streets in Rangoon.
Mandalay District Court Rejected the Appeal of NLD Leaders
The lawyers for the six NLD leaders from Mandalay Division submitted an appeal for their clients to District Court on Nov 5, 2008. District Judge listened to the appeal and summarily rejected it at once.
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 will continue to appeal at the higher court, which will be Mandalay Division Court.