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Renowned former monk released on bail

Prominent dissident Nyi Nyi Lwin, who spearheaded the monk-led protests in 2007, was released on bail Monday after being arrested by police earlier this month.

Previously known as Gambira, the former monk was charged with trespassing, vandalism and squatting by Thingangyun’s township police for breaking into monasteries that had been closed by authorities following the crackdown on protesters in 2007. 

Nyi Nyi Lwin’s brother Aung Kyaw Kyaw said the former monk was released after posting bail at 4 million Kyat (US$ 4,686).

According to a report in Radio Free Asia, Nyi Nyi Lwin claims he was detained for “participating in a support campaign for the victims of a police crackdown on protesters against a China-backed copper mine involved in a land dispute in northwestern Burma.”

The activist is set to appear in court on 14 December.

Nyi Nyi Lwin is well known for his participation in the ‘Saffron Revolution’ where monk-led protests against inflation morphed into widespread demonstrations calling for political reform. The military government violently cracked down on the demonstrations and arrested several of the protest leaders, including Gambira. He was later sentenced to more than 60 years in prison but was released from detention in January’s presidential amnesty.


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