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Nay Myo Zin, a devoted charity worker and blood donor since his retirement from the army, was arrested by Burmese intelligence for no clear reason on 2 March.
His mother and wife were allowed to visit him at Insein prison yesterday and learnt that he is to appear at a hearing in a special court room inside the prison’s compounds on May 5.
Such trials are not nominally closed but in practice judges abrogate responsibility for admission to the trials to prison authorities who invariably favour the government prosecutor in barring admittance to family members and legal aid for the defendant and not presenting the defendant with the charges prior to the trial, a situation the Asian Human Rights Commission described as reducing the judicial system to; “non-sense and double speak“.
Zin Myo, wife of Nay Myo Zin alleges that the intelligence found a document on his computer that had something to do with national reconciliation which led him to face charges under the Electronic Acts.
“He didn’t do anything wrong or even rebel against the state. He didn’t do anything to harm the nation,” said Zin Myo.
“He welcomed the new government led by President Thein Sein and wished to work for national reconciliation. He said that was his only intention,” said Zin Myo.
His mother, Khin Thi said her son was in good health.
“Apparently, there was an email in his inbox regarding national reconciliation which he was going to send to a friend and that was all [the intelligence] found,” said Khin Thi.
“He said he missed his son and asked us to take care of him. We will bring the child to see his father on Monday next week.”
The family was allowed to visit him after they sent a letter to president Thein Sein whilst previous attempts to see him were denied by authorities following his arrest.
Aung Thein, former central court lawyer and now legal advisor in Rangoon says that the Electronics Act (33) was commonly used by the previous State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) government to persecute political activists and those being charged with it can face jail terms from 7 up to 15 years if found guilty.
“33(b) is used to charge those leaking the government’s secret laws and one maybe sentenced from 7 up to 15 years under that law,” said Aung Thein.
“A lot of people including [88 Generation Students leaders] Min Ko Naing and Ko Ko Gyi were charged and imprisoned under the law throughout in year 2008 [following 2007 monk-led protests.]”
National League for Democracy’s Legal Assistance Wing is preparing to provide legal aid for Nay Myo Zin in his trial.