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U Gambira Re-arrested, Transferred to Insein Prison

By The Best Friend  •  December 2, 2012

U Gambira (a.k.a. Nyi Nyi Lwin)U Gambira (Ko Nyi Nyi Lwin) was arrested together with his mother, Daw Yey, on Saturday 1 December at 5 p.m. in Hlaing Township, Rangoon. Ashin Gambira had just returned to a friend’s home following a meeting with the UN Human Rights Ambassador in Rangoon. His mother was released later that evening, but U Gambira was taken to the District Police Office, from where he was transferred to the notorious Insein Prison.

Sources say U Gambira’s latest arrest may be connected to the authorities’ ongoing crackdown on monks and protesters demonstrating against the Letpaduang Copper Mine in Sagaing Division. Protests have recently spread to several cities throughout Burma, as well as Bangkok, Thailand. Friends and family members believe that there is a possibility that the authorities have detained U Gambira out of fear that he would be able to stimulate larger demonstrations. Although he has been urged to take part, he has not been involved in the any recent demonstrations.

A police officer named Myint Kyaw has reported that U Gambira was arrested under Section 448 (action taking place without permission of the authorities), Section 427 (damaging the dignity of the country), and Section 454 (forcibly staying in his former monastery without permission from the government). All three cases are related to earlier situations from which U Gambira had already been arrested and released. All three charges were previously dropped by the authorities following discussions with senior monks in Rangoon. U Gambira was later permitted to stay in his former monastery.

U Gambira continues to suffer from the effects of his four-year incarceration following the 2007 Saffron Revolution, including traumatic brain issues, clinical depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. He requires medicine on a regular basis. However, his doctor has refused to provide treatment to him for the past two months. U Gambira has been completely without medical treatment during this time.

In conjunction with this latest arrest, his family members’ Internet connection has been severely restricted lately. Immediately after the arrest, U Gambira’s brother Ko Akk was unable to use the Internet or his mobile phone for an entire day.

This is the third time that U Gambira has been re-arrested since his conditional release from prison in January 2012. The authorities are also reportedly threatening friends and supporters who have attempted to post bail for U Gambira.

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This post is in: Press Release

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