Commodity protestor beaten in Bago prison

Jan 8, 2009 (DVB), Detained commodity protester Aung Kyaw Oo, who has now been sent to the remote Pu-Tao prison, has told his wife he was badly beaten when he arrived in Bago prison on 24 December.

Aung Kyaw Oo is the joint secretary of Taik Gyi township National League for Democracy.

He was sentenced to 13 and a half years' imprisonment in December 2008 and has now been sent to Pu-Tao prison on the northern edge of Burma in Kachin state.

Aung Kyaw Oo's wife Aye Aye Maw said her husband had told her about his mistreatment during their last meeting.

"When I met him the last time, he told me he had had a problem with [Bago] prison officials on the day he arrived as he didn’t obey their order to sit in a stress position," Aye Aye Maw said.

"All he did was tell them politely that there was no rule in the prison regulations and they started throwing his begs and belongings around," she said.

"Then he told them they would have to pay if they damaged his belongings and they swore at him and beat him up."

Aye Aye Maw said Aung Kyaw Oo was beaten by five wardens, the prison chief and the prison administrator.

"When I went to the prison on 3 January, the prison authorities did not allow me to see him as he was in bad shape," she said.

"His face was black and blue and he had some minor damage to his ribs. The prison officials told me to come back on 13 [January]."

Aye Aye Maw said she did not find out about her husband’s transfer to Pu-Tao until she was told by a family member of a political inmate in Bago prison.

"I called the prison today [Wednesday] and they said they had sent him to the northern edge of Burma," she said.

Aung Kyaw Oo was arrested by authorities on 23 August 2008 and was sentenced to 13 and a half years' imprisonment on five different charges including sedition.

Reporting by Nan Kham Kaew

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