By MIN LWIN
The Irrawaddy News
Former student leader Min Ko Naing and eight leading political activists from the 88 Generation Students group were transferred on Friday morning from Rangoon’s Insein Prison to Maubin Prison in Irrawaddy Division two days after they were sentenced to six months imprisonment for disrespecting the court, according to sources inside Insein Prison.
A staff member at Insein told The Irrawaddy on Friday that Min Ko Naing and eight political prisoners were loaded into a prison truck, which left the prison at about 7am escorted by two police vehicles.
The nine members of the 88 Generation Students group were sentenced to six months imprisonment on Wednesday under Section 228 of the penal code—for contempt of court—by the Northern District Court inside Insein Prison in the northwestern suburbs of Rangoon.
According to the source, the nine political prisoners were named as Min Ko Naing, Ko Ko Gyi, Pyone Cho (aka Htay Win Aung), Htay Kywe, Mya Aye, Hla Myo Naung, Nyan Lin, Aung Thu and Myo Aung Naing.
Several members of the 88 Generation Students group were arrested, including Min Ko Naing, Ko Ko Gyi and Pyone Cho, after they led a march on August 19, 2007, against sharp increases in the price of fuel and other commodities, which led to mass demonstrations led by Buddhist monks the following month.
Since August 2008, more than 35 members of the 88 Generation Students group have been charged by the Insein Prison Special Court under a variety of charges, including Section 4 of the SPDC Law No. 5/96 (Endangering the National Convention).
The joint-secretary of Thailand-based Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP-Burma), Bo Kyi, said that the nine members of the 88 Generation Students group were moved to Maubin Prison because they verbally appealed to the judge for “free and fair justice.”
“They will not get regular family visits in Maubin,” Bo Kyi said. “The prison transfer will cause trouble for the prisoners’ health, their families and their lawyers.”
According to the AAPP-Burma, a political prisoner, Kyaw Myo Thant, died in Maubin Prison in 1990 under what it called “awful” conditions.