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More prison volunteers needed, says NLD

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Officials of the National League for Democracy (NLD) said that more volunteers are needed to work with more than 250 political prisoners under its newly formed Assistance to Political Prisoners programme.

prayer-for-political-prisoners1s1The programme started on the 63rd Independence Day, which fell on January 4.

Under the programme, volunteers select a political prisoner to work with by drawing from more than 620 political prisoners listed as in need of service by their family members.

‘More than 200 prisoners have not yet been served by volunteers’, NLD executive member Win Tin told Mizzima.

‘People come here in dribs and drabs and chose their political prisoners by draw but more than 250 prisoners still need volunteers. Some came in today and drew from the lot but some people were afraid to come to our office and other people had to do so on their behalf’, NLD Women Affairs In-charge May Win Myint told Mizzima.

There are more than 2,100 political prisoners including monks, Muslims, students and women in the regime’s prisons.
Volunteers give whatever assistance they can to prisoners and their family members including ‘counseling and consoling’, NLD leader Ohn Kyaing told Mizzima.

Win Tin said that Aung San Suu Kyi met with family members of her chosen political prisoner, Soe Min Min, from Hlinethaya Township on Monday, but the nature of the  discussion was not disclosed.

By his draw, CEC member Win Tin will assist NLD Mandalay Division Organising Committee member Win Mya Mya, who is serving her 7-year prison term in Puta-O prison. He said he sent here a copy of the Quran and articles used in Islamic daily worship and prayer services, such as a carpet, gown and mat, along with food donated by friends in Mandalay.

An NLD blood donor group has volunteered to look after 11 prisoners including 88-student leader Panneik Tun, Min Ko Naing, Ashin Gambira, Ni Moe Hlaing and Pyone Cho, the mother of Panneik Tun, said Nyunt Nyunt Oo.

Nyunt Nyunt Oo said family members of these political prisoners said that it would be helpful if former prisoners who have been granted political asylum status in foreign countries could offer financial assistance to the family members, because they can not afford to visit their loved ones regularly.

Win Tin said the NLD spends about 4 million kyat monthly to work with about 600 political prisoners. It also arranges scholarships for the children of hundreds of political prisoners, he said.

The Assistance Association of Political Prisoners-Burma says that there are a total of 2,149 political prisoners across the country and more than 240 prisoners have died while in prison custody or in interrogation centres due to torture or lack of adequate medical care.

Last Updated ( Monday, 17 January 2011 23:42 )  

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