Couple marries in court after sentencing

Jan 7, 2009 (DVB), Activist Khin Maung Win was able to marry his fiancée Pan Wah in court on Monday immediately after being sentenced, despite having had permission for the marriage refused by authorities.

Khin Maung Win, a member of National League for Democracy (Liberated Area) in Malaysia, was arrested in Rangoon on 10 October last year.

At that time, working in an underground movement with a group named Justice, which was formed after the September 2007 demonstrations.

He was sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment with hard labour by Southern Dagon township court on Monday under the Immigration Act for illegally entering the country and under the Unlawful Association Act.

He made a request to the judges during last week’s court hearing to allow him to marry his fiancée Pan Wah, 29, but it was turned down by the judges on the day he was sentenced, according to a lawyer who was in the court.

"I saw them in court on Monday while I was there to attend the hearing of my client De Nyein Lin," the lawyer said.

"Khin Maung Win didn’t hire a lawyer and did not deny the accusations made against him, so his hearing was kind of quick."

"During a court hearing last week, he requested to the court to allow him to marry his girlfriend but they rejected it on Monday," the lawyer said.

"After he heard his sentence, he and the girl signed their marriage contract in front of the court in the presence of the parents from both sides," he said.

"I salute the woman. Her new husband was sent to Bago prison on the day of their marriage so we don’t know whether to feel happy or sad."

Pan Wah said the couple's wedding plans had been disrupted by his arrest last year.

"We had planned to get married in October 2008 but then he was arrested on the 10th of that month," Pan Wah said.

"The judges refused to assist us with our marriage so we just signed the contract on our own," she said.

"I am proud of both him and us. [Khin Maung Win] did what he did for the good of our country."

Reporting by Khin Hnin Htet and Nan Kham Kaew

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