NLD member beaten during interrogation

Jan 31, 2008 (DVB), A Magwe division National League for Democracy member who was arrested on 11 January said that he suffered beatings and ill-treatment during his four-day interrogation.

Ko Ow Wai said he was arrested on Rangoon's 46th street on 11 January, and was blindfolded and taken to Yay Kyi Ai interrogation centre in Insein township where he was questioned for four days.

"They hit me with chairs and made me do press-ups on my fists, and they hit me around the ears, on my buttocks, my arms and also on my head," Ow Wai said, adding that he had also been hit with tree branches.

"They yelled at me: 'Tell the truth!', and made me kneel down on pebbles with my hands on the back of my head while someone ran at me and kneed me in the chest," he continued.

"I am still in pain now."

After that, Ow Wai was sent to Insein prison for further interrogation before being released on 21 January.

But on 29 January, military intelligence officials came to the house he was renting near Yuzana plaza on 15th street and arrested Ow Wai again.

"[The military intelligence officials] took me to their office near Yauk Kaw bus stop and asked me all the same questions I had been asked before," Ow Wai said.

"I told them I had only just been released by the other officials on 21 January, but they told me to leave Rangoon within 24 hours or they would arrest me again."

They also told him that if he remained in Rangoon they would make things difficult for the owner of the house he was renting under the guest registration laws.

Ow Wai said his interrogators asked him about a letter he had circulated in November last year which said that the Burmese regime was planning to poison detained NLD leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

"During interrogation, they asked if I really believed what the letter said," Ow Wai said.

"I told them that I didn't really care if it was true or not, but as Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is such an important figure in our country's politics I don't want her to come to any harm," he said.

"That's why I demanded that she have a medical examination [to see if the accusations were true]."

Ow Wai was arrested along with labour rights activist Su Su Nway in August last year during protests against fuel price hikes, and suffered a broken leg during his arrest.

Reporting by Aye Nai

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