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NLD confirms further prisoner releases

Sep 30, 2008 (DVB), The National League for Democracy has confirmed that all nine party members arrested on Saturday have now been released, while a tenth political prisoner has been freed as part of the government amnesty.

It has now been confirmed that all nine of the people arrested at the NLD's 20th anniversary celebrations on Saturday were released on 27 September.

Htet Htet Oo Wai, Daw Shan Ma, six unnamed youth members and a middle-aged woman were arrested near the NLD headquarters before or after the ceremony.

They were taken to Rangoon Western district police station and questioned about the bomb blast at the Shwepyitha township Union Solidarity and Development Association office on 1 July, according to NLD spokesperson U Nyan Win.

Nyan Win said the arrests had been a deliberate attempt to stop people from attending the NLD 20th anniversary ceremony.

Separately, Nyan Win confirmed that another political prisoner, Ko Thiha, was released from Mongsat jail on 23 September as part of the government amnesty.

Ko Thiha had been sentenced to death on treason charges for allegedly trying to attack the Yaykoo broadcasting house in Rangoon with a rocket launcher in 1991.

This latest confirmed release brings the total number of political prisoners among the 9002 detainees granted amnesty to 10.

An eleventh political prisoner, Win Htein, was also freed on 23 September as part of the amnesty but was then detained again the following morning.

Nyan Win described Win Htein's re-arrest as "unacceptable", while Burma Lawyers' Council secretary Aung Htoo said it was unlawful detention.

Tate Naing of the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners said the re-arrest of someone who had just been freed amounted to psychological torture.

Reporting by Khin Hnin Htet


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