Nine protesters released in Burma, warned of life imprisonment penalty in future

alerts-button.jpgThe military junta has released nine demonstrators arrested for participating in a 22 February 2007 protest against the regime for failing to address soaring inflation and other issues of the day, the New Delhi-based online daily Mizzima.com reported on 27 February.May Win @ Khin May Win, Kyu Kyu San, Htin Kyaw, Hla Myint Aye, Myo Oo, Hla Thein, Tin Win, Ohn Than, and Tun Tun were released from the Aung Tha Pyay detention camp where security personnel had interrogated them for long hours. (The earlier report incorrectly named Myint Shwe as one of those arrested.)

Before their release, they were forced to sign a paper acknowledging that they would be imprisoned for life should they organise demonstrations without permission or participate in illegal demonstrations.

The nine were among a group of about 20 people who took to the streets in a rare protest in the authoritarian state that is notorious for clamping down free speech and dissent.

They were interrogated over who the mastermind was, their financial backers and whether they were aiming to obtain asylum from the United States.

Tun said they were demonstrating “to draw attention to people’s suffering”. He said the authorities had allowed another group to demonstrate in front of the US Embassy in protest of the US-sponsored Security Council resolution on Burma. “We believe we should be allowed (to demonstrate), too,” he said.

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