Activist arrested for Independence Day salute

Jan 5, 2009 (DVB), Private tutor Aung Pe from Twan Tay township in Rangoon division was arrested on Burmese independence day yesterday after he saluted a national monument with his hands tied.

National League for Democracy spokesperson Nyan Win said Aung Pe had been arrested after making the gesture.

"He tied his own hands up and saluted the Independence monument. He was arrested for doing that," he said.

Aung Pe's political activities have previously brought him into conflict with the authorities.

He was arrested on 14 February 2005 for saluting the independence monument in downtown Rangoon while holding a picture of general Aung San the day before, which is the birthday of Burma’s national hero general Aung San.

He was jailed for three years for violating regulations governing private tutors and was released from Insein prison on 14 February 2008.

After his release, Aung Pe walked the 17 miles back to Twan Tay from Rangoon to enjoy the fresh air and views of the outside world and as a tribute to the other political prisoners who still remain in detention.

He was prevented from renewing his teaching licence but vowed to continue providing free education for children and carry on with his political activities.

Aung Pe was arrested again on 27 May in Rangoon as he marched with other activists towards Aung San Suu Kyi’s house calling for her release, but was released on 10 June.

Reporting by DVB

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