Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Family Members of 11 Detained Youth Appeal to Witness Trial


By: Khaing Khaing Zan , Rangoon
Family members of 11 detained Arakanese youth submitted an appeal letter to the judge in the notorious Insein prison asking for the opportunity to hear their children's trials, reports a family source.

The source said, "The appeal was submitted by them through their lawyer on 29 March when the authority produced the 11 Arakanese youths in the court of Insein prison to hear the cases."

On 29 March, 2010, the 11 youths, who were arrested in September last year, were produced before a judge in the western district court inside Insein prison but the families were not given the opportunity to learn of developments in the case.

Lawyer U Kyaw Hoo submitted their appeal to the court on behalf of family members of the 11 youths and the court replied that will decide on the appeal on 5 April.

U Kyaw Hoo was quoted as saying, "The court is able to give the family members of the 11 Arakanese youths like other families of clients in Insein prison who are able to regularly hear of their relatives cases inside Insein prison during trial."

The youths have been facing trial since 29 December of last year, but their family members have not been able to hear any updates on their case during that time.

The Arakanese youths are Ko Kyaw Moe, Ko Kyaw Win, Ko Tun Lun Kyaw, Ko Kyaw Zaw Tun, Ko Khin Maung Htay, Ko Naing Soe, Ko Kyaw Zan Thein, Ko Aung Moe Zaw, Ko Kyaw San Hlaing, Ko Maung Naing Soe, and Ko Zaw Tun Oo. They were arrested by Burmese intelligence in September of last year on allegations of opposing the government.

The authority has accused them of trying to detonate bombs in Burma after connecting with exile student groups like the AASYC and ABSDF based on the Thai-Burma border.

The 11 Arakanese youth are now facing five charges in the court, including charges on attempting to plant bombs, illegally crossing the Thai-Burma border, and having connections with illegal organizations.

According to a source, Judge U Myint San questioned prosecuting police officer U Kyaw Yin only on the day of 29 March, in relation to the explosives charges, but did not question any of the youth.

It was learned that the youth were severely tortured and harassed by Burmese intelligence officers during their three months in detention from September to December before they were produced before the court by authorities.

Ref: Narinjara


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