NLD charges continue despite moves towards dialogue

Nov 13, 2007 (DVB), The Burmese military regime continues to imprison members of the National League for Democracy, despite its public moves towards engagement with the opposition.

According to an NLD spokesperson, Nay Win, a member of Kachin state NLD, and Bhamo township NLD member Ba Myint were both jailed for two years on 9 November after being tried secretly in prison courts in Myitkyina and Bhamo prisons respectively, where they are now being held.

They were sentenced under section 505 (b) of the penal code, which covers causing public alarm and inciting offences against public tranquility.

Family members of the NLD members were not informed that they were due to be tried, and the two men were not allowed to hire lawyers.

When asked by DVB about the contradiction between the junta's claimed commitment to dialogue and the continued detention of NLD members and other political prisoners, NLD spokesperson Nyan Win said that this subject had not yet been raised in talks with the regime.

"From the news reports I have heard, these matters have not yet been discussed at the preliminary consultations. In my opinion, I believe that the two sides have not reached an agreement on the subject yet. Had an agreement been reached, things would not be the way they are now," Nyan Win said.

Reporting by Maung Too

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