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Five 8888-day anniversary protesters released


(Mizzima) - Five young people who were imprisoned for staging a protest against rising commodity prices on  the anniversary of the 8888 uprising were released on Monday, February 7, according to the Rakhine branch of the National League for Democracy (NLD) and the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP).

Buthidaung Prison is 80 miles north of Sittwe, the capital of Arakan State. Photo : NarinjaraThe five are Ni Ni May Myint, Maung Maung Thet, Chit Maung Maung, Moe Naing Soe and Than Lwin. They staged a protest directed at the military junta on August 8, 2008, the anniversary of the 8888 uprising.

They were each sentenced to two and half years imprisonment.

‘All five of them were released on the same day. They have served their full term’, said the Rakhine State branch youth wing secretary, Thein Hlaing.

They were charged under section 143 (unlawful assembly) and section 505(b) (causing disaffection to the State) of the Penal Code.

Thein Hlaing told Mizzima that they were first held in Thandwe (Sandoway) Prison, but they were later transferred to Buthidaung Prison after they held a ‘U Ottama Day’ ceremony inside the prison.

There were a total 18 political prisoners in Buthidaung Prison and now that number has fell to  13.

There are a total of 2,189 political prisoners still behind bars across the country, the Thai-based AAPP said.

After her release from house arrest, Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi said that she would prioritize her work to achieve the release of all political prisoners.

The NLD has a social outreach program which involves volunteers who help prisoners and their familiy members in a one-on-one situation.

The ruling junta denies the existence of political prisoners in Burma, claiming they are guilty of violating the criminal penal code. International governments and the UN have regularly called for the release of all political prisoners, but the junta ignores the pleas.

Last Updated ( Friday, 11 February 2011 13:23 )  

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