Remand extended for US detainee in Burma

Oct 2, 2009 (DVB), The United States' citizen arrested last month upon landing in Rangoon has had his court hearing cancelled after judges extended his remand for another week, family members said.

Nyi Nyi Aung (also known as Kyaw Zaw Lwin) was due to appear at a court in Rangoon yesterday after being notified of the hearing by the US embassy.

Nyi Nyi Aung, who has US citizenship, was detained after embarking from a plane in Rangoon in early September.

It remains unclear what the charges brought against him are, although an article in the state-run New Light of Myanmar newspaper last month mentioned him in relation to a series of bomb blasts that hit Rangoon on 16 and 17 September.

Su Su Kyi, the aunt of Nyi Nyi Aung, said the family went to Rangoon's Insein prison where he is detained and were told by officials there that the prison has extended his remand.

"The US embassy said the court hearing would start at 2pm [yesterday]," she said. "So we went but he didn't appear.

"We then went to Insein prison and were told the hearing was reappointed to 14 October."

She added that the lawyers representing Nyi Nyi Aung would likely be Kyi Win and Nyan Win, who represented opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi in her recent trial.

Nyan Win said however that the lawyers are waiting for an approval from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"We were informed by the US embassy about a week ago [to represent Nyi Nyi Aung], and we agreed with that," said Nyan Win.

"[The embassy] then informed the Foreign Affairs ministry about this. So far no reply has been received from the ministry."

Su Su Kyi said that the family had not been allowed to meet with Nyi Nyi Aung yet, but were able to send him food and other items once a week.

Reporting by Yee May Aung

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