Six NLD members released

Jan 15, 2009 (DVB), Six of the nine National League for Democracy members who were arrested on 30 December for staging a protest calling for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi have now been freed.

The three who remain in detention in Insein prison have been identified as San Chaung NLD youth coordinator Tun Tun Win, Khayan township youth NLD member Win Myint Maung (also known as Pae Pyote) and Shwe Pyi Thar township NLD member Htet Htet Oo Wei.

Tharkayta township NLD youth member Min Thein was one of those released yesterday.

"We were released after signing some papers in a government office in Mayangon township and an army official who was there told us they were releasing us as a gesture of good will as we were only students," he said.

"After that I was taken to my ward administration office in Tharkayta where they took my picture."

After their arrest on 30 December, Min Thein said the nine were taken away for interrogation.

"On 30 December, we were arrested by authorities in a white pickup truck after staging a protest in front of the people’s parliament building. They took us to a nearby agricultural department office," Min Thein said.

"We saw a battalion of riot police was deployed in the compounds, maybe they were there on standby on security purposes. We were kept in that place and interrogated for two nights," he said.

"They weren’t violent with us but none of us was allowed to sleep during the interrogation period."

Min Thein said the group was asked about how they became involved in political activities.

"I told them it was my own decision to get involved in politics as I used to be a soldier and I love Daw Aung San Suu Kyi who is the daughter of the Tatmadaw’s founder general Aung San," he said.

"I told them we protested for her release as we think our country’s situation would improve if she was around," he went on.

"Then they asked me if I thought our country was not in a good situation at the present time. I told them they could see for themselves."

After their interrogation, the nine were sent to Insein prison on 2 January.

Min Thein said he has unhappy that other activists remained in detention.

"I feel sorry that they only released six of us when there were nine of us who they arrested," he said.

"I also saw our fellow activists in prison and it made me really sad."

Reporting by Khin Hnin Htet

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