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Sep 24, 2008 (DVB), National League for Democracy member U Aye Thein, who was released at noon yesterday from Kalaymyo prison, has spoken out about the mistreatment of prisoners he witnessed while in detention.
U Aye Thein, 38, the Thabeikkyeen township NLD organising committee secretary, was one of a small number of political prisoners among the 9002 inmates released as part of a government amnesty.
Although Aye Thein was arrested on criminal charges, he was placed among political prisoners in the jail and said he suffered mistreatment by the authorities.
He said that he and other prisoners were kept in isolation in dark cells up until the time of his release.
Pakokku township MP-elect U Hlaing Aye, who was transferred to Kalaymyo jail on 22 September, was also sent directly to an isolation cell.
Aye Thein said he had also witnessed harsh treatment of other prisoners during his time behind bars.
U Michael Win Kyaw from Kalaymyo, who was imprisoned for his role in the Saffron Revolution, was beaten up by prisoners serving criminal sentences on the orders of the prison authorities, Aye Thein said.
On 5 September, Maung Win Cho from Kalaymyo township’s Kokeko village, who had been imprisoned for two months on drug charges, was beaten to death in front of inmates to set an example, drawing protest from political prisoners.
Aye Thein said he intended to report the incidents he had witnessed in prison to the authorities, NLD headquarters and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Several political prisoners including solo protester U Ohn Than, U Sai Nyunt Lwin of the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy, Ko Aye Aung, U Nyo Mya, U Aye Ko of Pyawbwe, U Kyaw Swe of Madaya and U Min Aung from Arakan State, U Ba Min and U Ba Thin from Kalaymyo are currently languishing in Kalaymyo prison.
Reporting by Khin Maung Soe Min