BURMESE WOMAN JAILED FOR HOUSING AUNG SAN SUU KYI


2003-11-23
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A Burmese woman who had opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi stay in her house in the northern city of Myitkyina in May 2003 has revealed how she was interrogated and sent to prison for four months by the authorities as a result, RFA's Burmese service reports.

"I was arrested on July 18 and taken to the airport intelligence unit in Myitkyina for three days of interrogations," National League for Democracy (NLD) member Ngwe Kyaing told RFA. "They wanted to know what [Aung San Suu Kyi] did during her stay."

She said she told her interrogators about plans for putting up a signboard at the local NLD office, and the content of the NLD leader's speeches.

"I told them that [Aung San Suu Kyi] always practiced non-violence, and they said maybe so, but those people around her might practice violence. I replied by saying that the people around her also practice non-violence," Ngwe Kyaing said.

From the intelligence unit, she said she was taken to Myitkyina prison, where she spent four months. She said while conditions in the prison were not easy, those in jail under national security laws had it slightly easier.

Ngwe Kyaing was never formally charged, although was informed in court hearings in prison that she was jailed under state security legislation, known as Section 5. When she was released, it was without explanation.

She said that as a local organizing committee member for the NLD, she did not regret housing Aung San Suu Kyi during her tour of the northern state of Kachin in May 2003.

Aung San Suu Kyi was arrested after a government-led ambush on her motorcade May 30 in the north of the country, in which as many as 100 people died, and an unknown number of women were raped, according to eyewitness testimonies recorded for RFA's Burmese service.

She is currently under effective house arrest at her home in Rangoon. Several other prominent members of the NLD remain behind bars.

The Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, recently attacked a "road map to democracy" proposed in September by Burma's military rulers for its failure to include the NLD, and other political and ethnic groups in the country.

Annan said that a visit earlier this month by UN Special Envoy Paulo Sergio Pinheiro had failed to deliver assurances from the junta that the NLD, which won a landslide victory in 1990 elections but was not allowed to take power, would be included in the process.#####

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