Whistleblower moved to Bago prison
Jan 26, 2010 (DVB)–The former Burmese army official sentenced to death this month for leaking state secrets has been moved from Rangoon’s Insein prison, as his family prepares to appeal his sentence.
Win Naing Kyaw, who was arrested last year and charged with leaking information on top-level Burmese military visits to Russia and North Korea, was handed the death sentence and multiple prison terms by the Insein prison court on 7 January.
Another fellow whistleblower and former government official was also sentenced to death for the leak, while a third man was given a 15-year sentence. They are also accused of passing information to exiled Burmese media detailing North Korean involvement in a military tunnel project in Burma.
A source close to Insein prison said that Win Naing Kyaw was moved last Saturday to Tharrawaddy prison in Bago division, 100 miles north of Rangoon.
The transfer of prisoners is often done to restrict access for visiting family members and lawyers, who are now in the process of launching an appeal. Meanwhile, a man in Rangoon, Ngwe Soe Linn, who was arrested in 2008 for taking pictures of ballot stations during the national referendum yesterday made his first court appearance. Court sources say that a final verdict will be given on 27 January.
And in other news, three activists arrested after holding ceremonies in which they prayed for the release of Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners yesterday appeared in court.
Judges heard testimonies from several witnesses, according to a source close to the family of one of the defendants, Naw Ohn Hla. They were charged for disturbing public tranquility, and for handing a Buddhist prayer book to a monastery abbot, which together carry up to two years in prison.
Naw Ohn Hla, a member of the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) party, had earlier complained about living condition in her Insein prison cell, which she was sharing with nine other inmates.
Reporting Khin Hnin Htet