Lawyer charged with obstructing an official

Jan 19, 2009 (DVB), San Maung, a lawyer who formerly worked for the Guiding Star legal aid group, has been charged with using criminal force to deter a public official from his duties, according to members of the group.

San Maung was summoned to a Bago police station on the morning of 16 January and notified of the charge.

The incident occurred when San Maung went to the immigration office to get a monk registration form for Abbot U Thumala from Thukhakami monastery, but township chief immigration official Khin Maung Soe refused to issue the form.

Khin Maung Soe reportedly charges applicants at least 5000 kyat for the forms, and only gave one to San Maung when he threatened to report him to his superiors.

No.1 Bago police station chief Loon Kyi filed charges against San Maung on 15 January, in accordance with instructions from deputy immigration official Thein Zaw.

San Maung has been released on bail until his trial.

San Maung has represented various human rights activists in the past, including fellow Guiding Star lawyer Aye Myint.

Reporting by Yee May Aung

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