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US embassy to put up lawyers for detained citizen


New Delhi (Mizzima) – The US embassy in Rangoon has got in touch with lawyers to defend its detained citizen, Kyaw Zaw Lwin, arrested on arrival in the former Burmese capital’s international airport on September 3.

Kyi Win, a high court advocate, on Friday told Mizzima that he was contacted by the US embassy to defend  Kyaw Zaw Lwin (alias) Nyi Nyi Aung, currently detained in Rangoon’s notorious Insein prison.

“The embassy contacted us to defend him and offered us a fee equivalent to the amount paid to the lawyer they had hired for John William Yettaw. But we said we are willing to provide ‘Pro Bono’ [free of charge] service,” Kyi Win said.

Kyi Win said the embassy had contacted him and his colleague Nyan Win, with whom he teamed up to defend detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, to take up Nyi Nyi Aung’s case.

Both Kyi Win and Nyan Win are advocates practicing in the high court.

“I don’t know if Nyi Nyi Aung has been charged yet. I am yet to receive a reply from the embassy,” Kyi Win said.

While it is still not clear whether he has been charged and on what grounds, a report in the state-run media the New Light of Myanmar newspaper last week accused Nyi Nyi Aung of trying to instigate civil unrest in cahoots with underground activists inside Burma.

The report also accused Nyi Nyi Aung of working together with several Burmese organizations in exile including the Forum for Democracy in Burma (FDB), the Student and Youth Congress of Burma (SYCB) and alleged that he had provided financial assistance to activists inside the country.

Nyi Nyi Aung was a student activist and was involved in the 1988 student-led uprising. He along with several other students fled to Thailand in the wake of the military crackdown on protesters. Later he was resettled in United States from Thailand and was naturalized as a US citizen.

Nyi Nyi Aung holds a valid US passport and had a legal social visit Visa to Burma. He flew from Bangkok to Rangoon on September 3 on a TG flight.

Since his arrest, Nyi Nyi Aung was taken to several interrogation centres, where he allegedly endured torture. He was finally taken to the Insein prison. The US embassy spokesman said, Nyi Nyi Aung had complained of ill-treatment during their meeting.


Last Updated ( Sunday, 04 October 2009 21:11 )  

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