Opposition lawyer hounded by authorities
by Myint Maung
Thursday, 30 July 2009 18:05
New Delhi (Mizzima) – Nyi Nyi Htwe, a lawyer belonging to the opposition camp, recently released from jail and forced out of his profession, alleged he is finding it difficult to continue with his present calling of selling government lottery tickets because he is being hounded by authorities.
The 33 year-old lawyer from Pegu town has been selling government lottery tickets to eke out a livelihood, after his bar license was revoked. He alleged that authorities had warned lottery dealers not to franchise him nor hire out a push-cart to him for selling lottery tickets.
“Since my bar license has been revoked, there is nothing that I can do to survive. I have no other business, but my wife sells lottery tickets. Since we lack capital, we have to procure tickets from bigger agents on credit. We also cannot afford to hire a permanent push-cart. The authorities have been creating obstacles,” he told Mizzima.
His business associates have been warned against dealing with him. He is currently finding it extremely difficult to franchise government lottery tickets and hiring a push-cart, given the harassment by the authorities.
Nyi Nyi Htwe was sentenced to a six-month prison term on October 30, 2008 by the northern District Court in Rangoon’s notorious Insein prison on charges of ‘contempt of court’. He was, at the time, defending three National League for Democracy members including Yan Naing Tun, who were arrested and were facing trial for praying at the Pagoda for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners. During the trial, the judge told Nyi Nyin Htwe to tell his three clients to change their sitting postures, where they had turned their backs to the judge. But the young lawyer said “they have their rights to sit the way they want.”
The judge charged him with ‘contempt of court’ and under Article 288 and sentenced him to six-months in prison.
While he served the prison term, authorities revoked his bar license. He was released on April 28, after he completed his six-month term.