Jailed student union leader treated for eye condition

New Delhi (Mizzima) – A political prisoner and leader of the 2007 generation All Burma Federation of Student Unions, Di Nyein Lin, who is suffering from an eye disorder, is receiving medical treatment at Monywa Prison in Sagaing Division, a family member has said.

Di Nyein Lin was transferred from Khantee prison to Monywa Prison on Monday and has been receiving medical treatment for his eye disease at a private eye clinic since Wednesday, aunt Ni Lar Min told Mizzima.

“The clinic gave him medicine and fitted him for glasses for him, yesterday”, she said.

At the direction of the Prisons Department, Di Nyein Lin was transferred to receive medical treatment but it was unknown to which prison he will be sent afterward.

When Ni Lar Min was allowed to meet her nephew in prison, Di Nyein Lin told her prison authorities and special police force officers were taking care of him, she said.

The student union leader also suffered kidney disease while in Khantee prison for which he had received medical treatment at a private clinic, but he needed X-rays for a complete examination, she said. This led to his family seeking permission for the transfer to Monywa.

He was sentenced to 15 years and six months in prison over participation in the September 2007 anti-junta protests led by monks known as the “saffron revolution”. He had been indicted on six charges, including violation of section 505(b) of the Penal Code for “upsetting public tranquility” and sections of the Unlawful Association Act.

Similarly, two other political prisoners have been suffering ill health under detention. Di Nyein Lin’s father, 88 Generation Students’ leader Zaw Zaw Min, experienced stomach and liver problems and received treatment at Taunggoo prison hospital in Pegu (Bago) Division on May 12 but he had since recovered, his wife Htay Htay Win told Mizzima.

Shan State Army (North) General Say Htin, also at Khantee prison, had an unspecified eye disorder and needed urgent medical attention, according to family members who met him with permission of prison authorities.

Khantee prison holds many political prisoners, including saffron revolution leader Ashin Gambia, Shan leader Khun Thu Oo, rights activists Su Su Nway and Htar Htar Thet, and Hin Kyaw, who was detained for protesting over fuel prices in 2007.

Its interrogation centre has been the scene of numerous human rights abuses.

Toe Lwin, a former political prisoner and an NLD youth leader living in exile in the United States, said he was horribly beaten in the interrogation centre of Khantee prison, after being arrested while trying to protect Aung San Suu Kyi during the murderous attacks by junta thugs on an NLD gathering at Depayin in May, 2003.

After suffering from continuous mental and physical torture at the prison, Toe Lwin was released in December, 2003, he told an audience at the University of California Berkeley in March this year. He fled to the Thai border in July, 2007.

Di Nyein Lin, 22, participated in reorganising the ABFSU during the saffron revolution. He was a final-year geology student at the University of West Rangoon in 2007. After the protests, he evaded arrest until he was caught in an apartment in Rangoon on October 23, 2008.

The ABFSU carries on its crusade against the military dictatorship underground because the military regime has banned student unions.
mizzima news

NLD heads, youth wing visit student leaders’ kin

New Delhi (Mizzima) – Two top leaders of the National League for Democracy and party youth-wing members visited to the families of detained 88 Generation Students’ leaders on Tuesday to offer support and encouragement.

Party vice-chairman Tin Oo, central executive committee member Win Tin and nine members of the NLD’s youth wing visited the families of 88 Generation Students Min Ko Naing, Ko Ko Gyi and Mar Ki in the morning. The student leaders are serving 65-year prison sentences.

“They [the students’ leaders] have made great sacrifices in the interest of democracy so we are visiting their family members to encourage them and express our support,” Tin Oo told Mizzima.

The families’ members warmly welcomed the NLD leaders and young people to the homes of Min Ko Naing and Mar Ki in Thingangyun Township and Ko Ko Gyi’s home in South Okkalapa Township, both towns in eastern Rangoon.

Aung Aung Tun, a brother of Ko Ko Gyi, told Mizzima: “We are happy because of their visit to encourage us. We thank them. They asked me about my brother’s health condition and whether we can meet him often or not because the prison where he is detained is very far away”.

The 88 Generation Students’ leaders were released from prison at the end of 2004 while Tin Oo was imprisoned after the May 30, 2003 Depayin Massacre. They were again arrested in August 2007 and Win Tin was released from prison on September 23, 2008. Tin Oo was released on February 13, 2010.

“They’ve fought for democracy and human rights, so we are very grateful to them for all that they have done for our nation,” Tin Oo said. “When they were released from prison in 2004, we were being held and didn’t have chance to meet them, so we arranged to visit their family members to express our support for them.”

The other leaders of the 88 Generation Students are Mya Aye, Jimmy, Min Zeya, Thet Zaw, Aye Than aka Thant Tin, Kyaw Kyaw Htwe, Zaw Zaw Min, Ant Bwe Kyaw, Pandate Tun, Nilar Thein, Mar Mar Oo, Sandar Min, Mi Mi aka Thin Thin Aye and Thet Thet Aung. Along with Min Ko Naing, Ko Ko Gyi and Mar Ki, they were arrested again for organising peaceful protests to condemn sharp fuel price rises in August 2007 and were sentenced to 65-year prison terms on November 11, 2008.

Although the All Burma Federation of Student Unions (ABFSU), an underground organisation, had not run student conferences after its sixth student conference in 1960, Min Ko Naing, Ko Ko Gyi and Moe Thee Zun organised the seventh student conference to reorganise the ABFSU on 28 August, 1988.

But, since the military junta took power on September 18, 1988, the student leaders were among the thousands of political prisoners arrested. They were sentenced to more than 15 years in jail.

In late 2004, the student leaders were released and continued to carry out political activities under the name of “88 Generation Students”.