Thursday, 3 July 2008

ABFSU woman member produced before court for eighth time

Mizzima News - 03 July 2008

Chiang Mai – 'The All Burma Federation of Students' Union' (ABFSU) student Ma Hanny Tun, who is in judicial custody, was produced for the eighth time yesterday at the East District Court.

The junta authorities accused Hanny Tun (21), Law final year student, of leading the protest against rising essential commodity and fuel prices which took place in front of Yuzana Plaza in September 2007. She is a member of ABFSU.

"The law permits freedom of association included in the UN Declaration of Human Rights. These students haven't yet tried to establish such an organization. They just staged a protest peacefully based on emotion. They had no intention to incite unrest and violence. They did it in good faith. That's all," her defence counsel Aung Thein said.

She has been charged under section 124(a) causing disaffection towards the State, 505(b) committing offence against public tranquility, section 143 and 145 unlawful assembly, of the Criminal Code and under section 6 of Registration of Associations Act, committing establishing association without registration.

She faces up to life imprisonment under section 124(a), up to 2 years under section 505(b), up to 5 years under section 6, up to 6 months and fine under section 143 and up to 2 years and fine under section 145, if convicted.

"She has been accused of leading the protest on that day. In fact she was actually sitting for her examination on that day. The authorities accused her of attending political functions held at the NLD, the birthday celebrations of 88 Generation Students among others. And the authorities also said that she attended courses at the American Centre and had contacts with the media such as BBC, RFA and VOA. She has been accused of having contacts with anti-government elements,"one of her family members said.

Military Affairs Security (military intelligence), Swanahshin and USDA members came to her home at No. 505, Ward No. 11, South Okkalapa on 9th October 2007 while she was with four friends. The authorities accused her of holding a meeting with ABFSU members.

"Her school refused to issue a recommendation letter saying she was sitting for her examinations on that day. We feel we were denied our rights. If we could get a chance to prove this point we don't mind what the court decides according to the law. Now we are denied all legal rights. We felt our rights were denied. We are worrying about her. She is too young to face such a harsh punishment," the family member said.

Hanny Tun suffers from breathing trouble and used to visit a clinic every two months. After Cyclone Nargis, she had breathing trouble again and was prescribed heart ailment medicines by the prison doctor.

The court examined three policemen as witnesses yesterday and will examine a Ward Peace and Development Council (WPDC) member and a Swanahshin member as prosecution witnesses again on July 16, her family member said.

7,000 Laputta Refugees Told to Return Home

The Irrawaddy News

At least 7,000 cyclone survivors sheltering in three temporary camps in Laputta town, in the Irrawaddy delta, are under renewed pressure from the local authorities to return home, according to sources there.

About 10,000 refugees are still living in Laputta’s five refugee camps, supported by local authorities and nongovernmental organizations.

The 7,000 now urged to return to their home villages have been warned that unless they leave the camps they can expect no aid next month, said one local source, Aye Kyu.

Those who agree to go home will be provided with enough rice, oil and beans to last 10 days and will participate in a draw for the houses now being built in the devastated villages, Aye Kyu said.

The supplies are insufficient, however, according to Aye Win, a spokesman for the UN Information Center in Rangoon.

The state-owned daily New Light of Myanmar reported on Tuesday that the government planned to build 4,000 houses for cyclone victims in the Irrawaddy delta and Rangoon Division.

About 18 private companies and bankers would be involved in the construction of the homes, the paper said.

Despite the inducements to take up residence again in their devastated villages, about 400 cyclone survivors who were forced to go home returned to Laputta last month and are now living in local monasteries, sources reported.

Thousands of residents of more than 30 villages in Bogalay Township were told by the Department of Forestry last month to relocate because they were said to be living on national park land.

Four NLD Youths Sentenced to Year in Prison

Narinjara News

Four youth members of the National League for Democracy in southern Arakan's Taungup Township were sentenced to one year in prison by the Burmese military authority for distributing statements issued by NLD headquarters in Rangoon, reported a NLD member.

He said, "They were arrested by police in Taungup on Burma revolution day, on 27 March, as they were distributing a statement from the NLD in town. Now the judge in the township court has sentenced them to one year in prison."

The youths were identified as Ko Moe Kyaw, Ko Than Htay, Ko Zaw Naing, and Ko Aung Naing Min from Taungup, all of whom are members of the NLD youth wing.

"They were charged by police in the Taungup court under a section of Act 451, which relates to a person intruding on a place without permission of the owner. It was a false case and the charges had nothing to do with them," the man said.

According to a local source, they have been moved to Sittwe prison from Taungup to serve out their sentences.

In addition to the four youth, at least five senior NLD members from Taungup Township are now serving long jail terms at several prisons in Burma after being involved in leading protests during the Saffron Revolution along with monks in the fall of 2007.

Taungup Township NLD joint-secretary, Ko Min Aung, is currently at the notorious Insein prison in Rangoon, after being sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for his role in the Saffron Revolution.