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Released lawyer speaks of imprisonment

Apr 30, 2009 (DVB), A human rights lawyer released earlier this week after a serving a sixth-month sentence for contempt of court has said that he was prevented from exercising and receiving medical care.

Nyi Nyi Htway was sentenced to six months in Rangoon's Insein prison last October after representing activitists detained for holding prayer meetings for the release of political prisoners.

"I was not very healthy before I went to prison, and during my time there I didn't get proper medical care and was suffering from weak heart," he said.

"All they gave me was an ECG check up but they never let me know the result."

He said that authorities also issued an order to suspend his lawyer permit while he was in prison.

He was met by the United Nations human rights envoy for Burma, Tomas Ojea Quintana, during his visit to Insein prison, and talked about the judicial system in Burma.

"I was allowed to do walking [as an exercise] with other inmates for the first week I arrived there," said Nyi Nyi Htway.

"But after that, I was informed by my warden I had been suspended from walking as an order was received from senior authorities," he said, adding that he didn't walk again until he was released.

"The judicial system we have now is not a kind we believe in and have our respect in," he said.

"In trials today, people are being sentenced with no proof or evidence."

Reporting by Khin Hnin Htet


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