Thursday, January 21, 2010

Nyi Nyi Aung in solitary confinement a second time

Wednesday, 20 January 2010 20:18 Phanida

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) - Burmese-American Nyi Nyi Aung facing trial and being held in Insein prison has been put in solitary confinement for the second time, opposition sources said.

“We don’t know yet why he was placed in solitary confinement again but prison officials said it was done on the orders of higher authorities,” a man, who recently visited another political prisoner in Insein prison for a prison interview, told Mizzima.

Nyi Nyi Aung’s two aunts, Daw Suu Suu Kyi and Daw Khin Khin Swe, could not meet him at a prison interview on January 18.

Though prisoners were allowed to meet family members by way of a prison interview twice a month earlier, the prison authorities informed the family they would allow a meeting only once every three weeks as of now.

Lawyer Nyan Win said he had also heard Nyi Nyi Aung was in solitary confinement.

“We heard that he was put in a cell. But we are not aware of the details since we are not close to prison authorities. He told us during the last hearing on January 12, that he was fine and was being held in a good room,” Nyan Win told Mizzima.

Nyi Nyi Aung (40) was put in a dog cell last month after staging a hunger strike demanding prisoners’ rights.

Naturalised US citizen Nyi Nyi Aung went underground after the 1988 uprising, in which he was involved. He was arrested from Rangoon Mingaladon airport on September 3 and was charged with possessing a forged national ID card and flouting the foreign exchange law.

The final argument in his case has been fixed for January 22. Officials of the US embassy in Rangoon and the US government are monitoring his case closely. They are also urging the junta to conduct the trial in accordance with international law and norms.

According to the ‘Association of Assistance to Political Prisoners-Burma’ (AAPP-B) over 2,000 political prisoners languish in prisons across Burma for their political beliefs.