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Monk detained in mental hospital

Dec 21, 2007 (DVB), A 76-year-old monk who was detained for one month following the September protests was rearrested ten days after his release and held in a psychiatric hospital.

U Tayzaw Bartha, from Kalyarnithein monastery in Bago, was arrested on 26 September for staging demonstrations and giving public speeches.

He was detained in Insein prison for one month and was released on 25 October.

About ten days later, he was arrested by the military affairs security officers at Shwe Dagon pagoda and sent to Ywar Thar Gyi psychiatric hospital in the outskirts of Rangoon.

U Tayzaw Bartha said he was held there, together with patients suffering from mental disorders, for 25 days.

"I spent 45 days in detention this time. I was kept in a mental hospital for the first 25 days," he said.

"The kept me in several rooms together with different psychopaths. I was so scared and, I finally told them I could not stand there anymore and they sent me to a monastery."

U Tayzaw Bartha was sent to a monastery in Sakhan Gyi village, Hle Ku township, where he continued his detention for a further 20 days before asking to be released.

"After about two weeks at the monastery, I told them I wanted to go home and they asked me to write a formal letter about it. So I did and I was released about five or six days later," the monk said.

U Tayzaw Bartha criticised the authorities' decision to hold him in a psychiatric hospital, and said his movement remains restricted.

"I am very disappointed that the authorities sent me to a psychiatric hospital when I have no mental disabilities," he said.

"Even though I have been released now, I am still not allowed to go back to my monastery in Bago and am staying at my daughter’s house in Rangoon."

Reporting by Naw Say Phaw


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