Dagon man arrested for second time

Jan 30, 2008 (DVB), A man from New Dagon township in Rangoon who was arrested on 1 January after an argument with a local official has been arrested for the second time, his family said.

Ko Win Ko, from Htaung Taloke village in New Dagon township, was arrested after he got into an argument with a local official's brother who had not paid money he owed to Ko Win Ko's brother for farm labour.

The local official, village Peace and Development Council chairman U Aye Myint, then got involved in the argument, punching Ko Win Ko.

The next day, U Aye Myint reported the incident to the local police station and had Ko Win Ko and his father arrested.

Ko Win Ko's wife, Ma Khin Khin Swe, said she then went to the police station to find out why he had been arrested.

"They said he had been arrested for violating his movement restrictions, but he has never been given any movement restrictions," she said.

"He was taken to court the next day and placed on remand for five weeks, but on 23 January the court concluded that he had committed no crime and decided to drop the case."

However, the judge said that Ko Win Ko would face movement restrictions for six months and told him he needed to go to the police station to sign an agreement accepting the restrictions.

The judge advised Ko Win Ko not to challenge the restrictions because he said local authorities had the power to impose restrictions for one or two years.

On his return home, Ko Win Ko went to South Dagon township police station 133 to sign the restriction agreement, but when he got there he was arrested by the deputy police chief on cockfighting charges, which Ko Win Ko's father is also facing.

Ma Khin Khin Swe said her husband had done nothing wrong and she would take the case further.

"They just arrested my husband when he has committed no crime and I'm very disappointed with that," she said.

Ma Khin Khin Swe has written a letter of complaint to the minister of home affairs, the attorney general, the justice department and the military commander of Rangoon division, which she sent on Monday.

Ko Win Ko has been detained since his arrest, and is due to appear in court on 7 February.

Reporting by Aye Nai

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