Gambira released as trespassing charges dropped

Gambira released as trespassing charges dropped

Former Buddhist monk Gambira, known for his role in spearheading the so-called Saffron Revolution in 2007, walked on Friday after charges of vandalism and trespassing against him at Rangoon’s Bahan and Thanlyin township courts were dropped.

Nyi Nyi Lwin, serving a six months’ jail term under an immigration charge at Mandalay’s Obo Prison, was brought to Rangoon to face trespassing and vandalism charges for old offences committed when he tried to break into and find shelter in abandoned monasteries in 2012 after he was amnestied from a lengthy 65-year prison term for his role in leading the 2007 protests.

Earlier this year, he was arrested in Mandalay and charged under the Immigration Act for allegedly making illegal cross-border visits to neighbouring Thailand, where he had been receiving treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that he had been suffering from as a result of torture and harsh conditions in detention. He was later sentenced to six months in prison — a sentence that was due to end today.

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“Today, the prosecutors dropped the charges against me at Bahan and Thanlyin township courts and the six months’ term I was serving is also due — I am happy to be free,” Gambira told DVB on Friday.

“Now I can get on with my medical treatment,” he added.

Gambira after the 2007 Saffron Revolution was arrested and sentenced to 65 years in prison. While behind bars, he was reportedly subjected to extreme physical and mental torture, leaving him with PTSD, for which he had been seeking treatment in Thailand following his release in 2012.

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