NLD banned from visiting prisoners

Apr 4, 2008 (DVB), An assistance programme run by the National League for Democracy providing food and other necessities to inmates of Insein prison has been stopped by new regulations, an NLD member said.

The NLD had been visiting about 50 people held at the prison, including around 30 monks who were arrested after the September 2007 demonstrations, to provide them with packages containing food and other items.

The NLD member said most of the monks were from the well-known Ngway Kyar Yan, Shwe Taung and Maggin monasteries and the detained laypeople were from Arakan State, Shan state and Magwe division and so their own families found it difficult to visit them.

But now prison authorities have banned non-family members from visiting the detainees or giving parcels.

"We have been doing this to give assistance to monks and detainees from areas outside Rangoon as it was impossible for their families to come visit them regularly," the NLD member said.

"On Tuesday, the Insein prison authorities set out a new regulation concerning prison visits, which says that only family members are now allowed to visit the detainees."

Reporting by Naw Say Phaw

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