Authorities arrest relatives of activists

Sep 15, 2008 (DVB), Friends and relatives of high-profile monk U Gambira and the mother of 88 Generation Student leader Ko Ant Bwe Kyaw have been arrested over the past week.

Fourteen people including relatives and friends of U Gambira were arrested last week in Rangoon and Meikhtila in Mandalay.

U Gambira's sister Ma Khin Thu Htay said her husband Ko Moe Htet Hlyan and five of his friends were arrested in Rangoon by about 15 police officers on 9 September.

"They raided our house at around 7.30pm on Tuesday evening and began searching the house before they took my husband away," Ma Khin Thu Htay said.

"They also seized his computer, a memory stick, a paper-cutter, a bag containing discs and an MP4 player," she said.

"I don’t know where my husband is being held , the officials haven't contacted us again."

She said the officials had wanted to arrest her too but decided to let her go because she is seven months pregnant.

"The officials said they had received information that my husband was planning to raise a lantern on the anniversary of last year’s Saffron Revolution," she said.

Authorities also arrested eight local youths including U Gambira’s younger brother Ko Aung Ko Ko Lwin from their houses in Meikhtila on last Thursday, Ma Khin Thu Htay said.

Daw Tin Tin Win, 75, mother of 88 Generation Student leader Ko Ant Bwe Kyaw, was arrested on Friday afternoon, according to neighbours.

Well-known writer Daw Kyi Oo, who lives next door to Daw Tin Tin Win and is the mother of comedian Zarganar, said she was concerned about Daw Tin Tin Win's health.

"Daw Tin Tin Win has been really unwell , I was thinking of telling her son, if he is ever let out again, to just concentrate on his mother and take care of her instead of doing other things," Daw Kyi Oo said.

"A lot of her neighbours and people who know her are sorry to hear about her arrest , but arresting a person like this who can’t even walk is not even strange to us any more," she said.

"I just hope they release her very soon."

U Gambira, leader of the All Burmese Monks Alliance, has been detained since November last year for his role in instigating public protests in September.

Ko Ant Bwe Kyaw is one of the leaders of the 88 Generation Students group and was arrested with other group leaders in August last year.

Reporting by Yee May Aung and Naw Say Phaw

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