On December 1st, 2012, Ashin Gambira (aka) Nyi Nyi Lwin was re-arrested by Burmese authorities whilst staying at his brother-in-law Nyi Nyi Zaw’s house in Thingangyun Township, Rangoon. On December 2nd, he was sent to Insein prison where he was incarcerated.
He has been indicted by Thingangyun, Bahan and Tanyin courts with the following three charges:
U Gambira will be remanded for 2 weeks and he is incarcerated in Insein prison at the moment.
The secretary of Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma), Ko Tate Naing articulated that “The process related to U Gambira’s case/charges was already over with at the beginning of 2012. This case has already been discussed with the authorities and some monks from the monasteries, who are also former political prisoners, have lived there for some time now. It is inappropriate that the case related to the above mentioned process has now been indicted again. The action of the government is obviously a step backwards and the authorities should review this matter.”
The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma) strongly condemns this step backwards and we call for the following actions to be taken regarding U Gambira aka Ko Nyi Nyi Lwin:
Due to his leading role in Burma’s Saffron Revolution in September 2007, he was initially arrested on November 4th, 2007, after the brutal crack-down by the military junta. 10 different charges were brought against him, and he was ultimately sentenced to 68 years in prison. During his imprisonment in Insein, Hkamti and Kale prisons, his physical and mental health deteriorated due to torture and bad treatment in both interrogation center and prison. In January 2012, he was released under the presidential amnesty.
Released from prison reassuming his monkhood depended on the consent of the Burmese Monks Clergy. He decided not to submit the required letter to the Clergy and lived on as a layman instead after his release. He moved in with his family but also had to be hospitalized. On November 30th, 2012, he came to Rangoon as he had plans to both do official talks with British Embassy officials as well as seek medical treatment for his poor health condition.
However, Ashin Gambira (aka) Nyi Nyi Lwin was arrested by the police on December 1st, 2012.
The charges are related to actions he undertook after his release in January. He went to three monasteries in the townships mentioned above. The monasteries had been sealed by the authorities after the resident monks were arrested and imprisoned. Ashin Gambira broke the padlocks at the gates, and led returning monks to re-occupy the three monasteries without the permission of the authorities. Later, he was summoned to the State Supreme Council of Senior Monks (Sangha Maha Nayaka), and admonished by Senior Monks in order for him to request the permission of legal stay and monkhood status. Hence, he changed into layman and returned to his native town. However, the other monks from the monasteries, who were also former political prisoners, submitted a letter to the State Supreme Council of Senior Monks (Sangha Maha Nayaka) requesting permission to move back into the monasteries, which they were later given by the local authorities.
In addition, he held discussions with U.S. Ambassador Derek Mitchell on October 4th, 2012 at the Ambassador’s residence at Pyi (Prome) Road in Rangoon, together with Ashin Thaw Parka, and labor activists Ko Thurein Aung, Ko Nyi Nyi Zaw and Ko Naw Aung.
For more information –
Tate Naing (Secretary): +66 (0) 81 287 8751
Bo Kyi (Joint-Secretary): +66 (0) 81 962 8713
This post is in: Press Release\