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Detained poet denied visits and parcels

Jan 31, 2008 (DVB), Prison authorities have received an order stating that a poet who was arrested on 22 January for writing a controversial poem can no longer receive visits or parcels from his family, the poet's wife said.

Saw Wai was arrested after a poem he wrote with a hidden message that read "megalomaniac Than Shwe" was published in a weekly journal.

His wife, Ma Nan San San Aye, said that she received a telephone call from an official at Insein prison at around 4pm on 29 January telling her she could not visit Saw Wai.

"The official said he had been banned from receiving family visits, but that the family could still send him things."

But when Ma Nan San San Aye went to the prison the next day to give him some items, officials showed her an order letter which said Saw Wai would not be allowed to receive family visits or packages after 29 January.

"I just wanted to give him some blankets and mosquito nets," Ma Nan San San Aye said.

Ma Nan San San Aye said that she had not had any contact with her husband since speaking to him on the telephone on the day of his arrest, and she has heard nothing about him from the authorities.

Reporting by Naw Say Phaw


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