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Amnesty International's news item

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News Service 193/96
AI INDEX: ASA 16/50/96
23 OCTOBER 1996 


Amnesty International is shocked by the arrest of U Kyi
Maung, Central Executive Committee member of the National
League for Democracy (NLD), who was taken by Myanmar security
forces from his home in Yangon in the early hours of this
morning (local time).

      ~U Kyi Maung has done nothing more than call for
peaceful political change.  His arrest is an outrage and he
should be released immediately.  This arrest is part of a
relentless attempt by the Myanmar authorities to crush any
peaceful dissent by whatever means, ~ Amnesty said today.

      No news has since been heard from U Kyi Maung, a close
associate of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. The organization is also
concerned about reports of arrests of students during recent

      Tension in the capital has increased in the past three
days. Some 200-300 students from the Yangon Institute of
Technology (YIT) marched on the night of 21-22 October to the
Pyay Road and University Avenue intersection after an
argument at a local restaurant on 20 October.  Students claim
that the dispute had already been settled when police arrived
and beat three or four students at the scene.  Apparently two
students were injured, one seriously. Three students are
believed to remain in detention. During the march students
called for the authorities to make public the true account of
the incident in the restaurant, which they characterized as
police brutality.

      Because of restrictions of access to information,
accounts of following events remain confused. Demonstrations
continued on 22 October when a group of students gathered
near Daw Aung San Suu Kyi~s house.  Another protest may have
taken place in the evening  in front of a police station near
the University of Yangon. Security forces arrested an unknown
number of students, who were reportedly taken to Kyitkasan
racetrack.  NLD supporters who were arrested recently are
also believed to be held there. There was a further
demonstration today at the University of Yangon which was
said to have dispersed peacefully.

      Reports indicate that U Kyi Maung, one of two NLD vice-
chairmen, was accused by the State Law and Order Restoration
Council (SLORC, Myanmar~s military government) of involvement
in the student protests.  U Kyi Maung was a prisoner of
conscience from 1990 until March 1995, when he was finally
released from Insein Prison, where hundreds of political
prisoners remain behind bars.

      Amnesty International urges the Myanmar authorities to
exercise restraint in dealing with the demonstrators and to
provide a full account of all those thought to remain at
Kyitkasan racetrack.                                        ENDS\
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