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Ailing political detainee forced to stand trial

Oct 3, 2008 (DVB), Political prisoner Aung Zaw Oo was forced to stand trial at Kyauktada township court despite his pleas to be tried at a later date, according to a friend of the detainee.

Aung Zaw Oo's friend said he was handcuffed and forced into a prison van by police private Saw Htay Oo and when he arrived in court he refused to come out of the van for an hour in protest at his treatment.

"He was trembling and sweating and the handcuffs made deep marks on his skin," his friend said.

Tate Naing of the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners denounced the incident and accused the authorities of human rights abuses and illegal treatment of political prisoners.

Aung Zaw Oo was locked up in a dog kennel on 13 September as a punishment for staging a hunger strike calling for the immediate release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and genuine dialogue.

He stopped the hunger strike when he began vomiting blood and was admitted to hospital on 18 September.

Aung Zaw Oo, from the Shan State capital Taunggyi was arrested under article 13/1 of the Immigration Act for illegally crossing the border and article 6 of the Unlawful Associations Act.

He has previously been reported to be in poor health with a weak heart, and fainted twice while at Kyauktada township court for a hearing in March.

Reporting by Naw Say Phaw

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