Political detainee collapses at court hearing

Mar 13, 2008 (DVB), A political detainee fainted twice at court yesterday when he and four others were brought from Insein prison to Kyauktada township court for a hearing, the group's lawyer said.

Ko Aung Zaw Oo, Ko Kyaw Kyaw Lin, Ko Kyaw Zin Win, Ma Kyi Kyi Wah and one other person were brought to Kyauktada township court yesterday to face charges of unlawful association and of illegal border crossing under section 13/1 of the Immigration Law.

The group's defence lawyer U Khin Maung Shein said that Ko Aung Zaw, who suffers from a weak heart, fainted first while in the holding cell and then again in the corridor on the way to the courtroom.

"Aung Zaw Oo collapsed in the holding cell of Kyauktada township court, and we had to call in a doctor," Khin Maung Shein said.

The doctor could not give Aung Zaw Oo an injection because of his condition, but gave him some tablets instead, the lawyer said.

"On bringing him in to the courtroom he collapsed again at the staircase at around 3.30pm," Khin Maung Shein said.

Khin Maung Shein said that everyone in the group seemed to be in poor health, with Aung Zaw Oo in the worst condition.

After the court hearing, Khin Maung Shein tried to have Aung Zaw Oo sent to hospital, but the authorities would not let him go, despite a letter from the doctor.

Three other people held over the same case, Ko Zarni, Ko Ye Thway and Ma Htet Htet Aung, were released around two weeks ago.

Reporting by Aye Nai

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