Detained family members separated

Oct 29, 2007 (DVB), Nine people imprisoned for threatening the Union Solidarity and Development Association have been dispersed to different prisons around the country, making it difficult for family members to visit.

The nine prisoners are family members and colleagues of Than Lwin, a National League for Democracy member and elected member of parliament from Maddaya township in Mandalay.

Than Lwin was attacked in June by an assailant wearing a knuckle-duster, who then fled into a USDA building.

Than Lwin's family members and colleagues were charged with intimidation after reportedly threatening to burn down the USDA office and kill Than Lwin's attacker, and were sentenced to between five and seven years' imprisonment each.

The detainees were originally taken to (New) Mandalay prison after sentencing, but their families say that they have now been transferred to separate prisons in different divisions.

One daughter of Than Lwin, Khin Ma Gyi has been moved to Monywa prison on Sagaing division, while another daughter, Khin Ma Lay, is being held at Myin Chan prison in Magwe division.

Family members who tried to visit the sisters in their new locations were denied access and have said they are worried about the two women.

"We followed them to Monywa and Myin Chan prisons as soon as we found out about the transfer, but were not allowed to visit them," said a family member.

Maddaya NLD chairman's son Nyi Nyi and party member Thaung Naing have also been transferred to Myin Chan.

Two other Maddaya NLD members, Nyo Lay and secretary Kyaw Swe, were moved to Kalay prison in Sagaing division.

Three of the group remain in (New) Mandalay prison , NLD second deputy chairman U Nyo and two of Than Lwin's family members, Nyan Sein and Zaw Man Lwin.

Than Lwin was himself arrested by authorities on 2 September, and his whereabouts are currently unknown.

Reporting by Khin Nyin Thet and Nan Kham Kaew

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