50 Briefly Detained during Suu Kyi Trial

11st Aug 2009, irrawaddy news,

At least 50 persons were arrested outside Insein Prison after the verdict from Aung San Suu Kyi’s trial was announced on Tuesday afternoon. However, they were released outside the headquarters of the National League for Democracy (NLD) in central Rangoon soon after, according to NLD sources in the former Burmese capital.

A combined force of riot police, security forces and Swan Ah Shin militia detained the persons, who were reportedly mostly NLD supporters and well-wishers of Suu Kyi, and took them away in police trucks after the verdict was announced at 11:50 a.m.

The police trucks drove those detained to the NLD’s Rangoon headquarters at Shwe Gone Dine, near Shwedagon Pagoda, and released them with a warning not to go back onto the streets, said some NLD members who were arrested.

 A member of the NLD in Rangoon, who was also waiting in front of Insein Prison, said, “The security forces were worried the crowd would grow and it would turn into an uprising. That’s why they arrested those 50 people.”

Ten members of the NLD in Magwe and Pegu divisions were also arrested, according to sources within the NLD.

Five NLD members in Yenangyaung in Magway Division were arrested in their houses while preparing to go to a pagoda to pray for Suu Kyi.

In Pegu Division, five party members were arrested while praying for Suu Kyi at a pagoda.
Security was tightened around Insein Prison on Tuesday as crowds gathered for the verdict of Suu Kyi, her two companions Win Ma Ma and Khin Khin Win, and American intruder John W Yettaw.

Barbed wire roadblocks were set up, and armed riot police took up positions near the prison. Sources said trucks carrying riot police have been deployed around the prison and that more police trucks are patrolling the surrounding area.

Suu Kyi was handed down an 18-month suspended sentence to be served under house arrest while Yettaw received seven years for breaking immigration and security laws.
Suu Kyi has been detained for nearly 14 of the last 20 years, mostly under house arrest.

Meanwhile, a prominent Burmese labor rights activist, Su Su Nway, was transferred from Kalay Prison to Hkamti Prison in Sagaing Division on August 6, according to her sister, Htay Htay Kyi.

“I found out that she was transferred to Hkamti on Thursday. I asked the authorities at the prison why they transferred her. They responded that they weren’t authorized to discuss the matter,” Htay Htay Kyi said.

Su Su Nway was originally sentenced to 12 and a half years in prison for political activities.

Another NLD member, Kyaw Khaing, 87, who suffers from digestion difficulties, was transferred from Thandwe Prison in Arakan State to Thayet Prison. He was originally sentenced for two years for anti-government activities.

Two more members of the NLD in Rangoon were sentenced recently to two years in Insein Prison for protesting during Suu Kyi’s trial.

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