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Five NLD members arrested for peaceful protest

Aug 28, 2008 (DVB), At least five National League for Democracy members were arrested last night and taken to court today, the latest in a series of arrests of NLD members, according to party spokesperson U Nyan Win.

Hlaing Tharyar township NLD members U Tin Yu, U Kyaw San, U Soe Min and Daw Hla Hla Maw, and Kyimyintaing member U Yan Naing Tun were arrested at around midnight by the authorities and taken to Hlaing Tharyar township court today to face charges, U Nyan Win said.

A colleague of Yan Naing Tun confirmed the arrests.

"Last night, six people , the Hlaing Tharyar police commission and his team and members of Kyimyintaing special branch including Win Myint , came to arrest Ko Yan Naing Tun," he said.

"They are being tried at Hlaing Tharyar court."

Lawyer U Phoe Phyu said the five had been arrested for carrying out a peaceful demonstration.

"The reason [for their arrest] is that on 15 May they walked from Shwe Yin Aye bus stop to Nyaungdon road in a peaceful protest carrying banners reading 'Free Daw Aung San Suu Kyi'," he said.

The five are being tried alongside Ko Mee Thway, Ko Kyaw Soe Win, Ko Win Myint, Ko San Lwin, Ko Thant Myo and Ko Myo Kyaw Swe, who were arrested on 5 May for staging a demonstration demanding Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's release.

Phoe Phyu said the 11 people would all face the same charges.

"They are being charged under sections 143, 145, 152, 505 and 505(b) of the penal code for illegal assembly, resisting officials on duty, and disturbing the public order," he said.

All 11 were taken to Insein jail after appearing in court, Phoe Phyu said.

According to the NLD's Nyan Win, around 10 party members and activists have been arrested this month, including U Karkyinsi and his son on 14 August, seven visitors from Irrawaddy division to Rangoon including Ko Aung Kyaw and Ko Tin Aung on 7 August, and Dr Thet Lwin from Rangoon and another person on an unspecified date.

Nyan Win said the latest arrests were further evidence of the authorities' campaign of harassment against the NLD.

"The NLD has been persecuted from the start, that is nothing out of the ordinary," Nyan Win said.

"What is strange is that it has become more intense in recent days. They are speeding up the destruction of the NLD. That's all we can think."

Reporting by Htet Aung Kyaw

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