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Immediate Action Call (r)

Dear Ko Tin Kyi,
              Sorry for not being able to reply since your first e-mail 
about this case came.   I will write the supporting letter to night and 
I will send it to you a copy and I will fax it to the authorities there.   
If we all sign a supporting statement and send it there, will it be 
helpful.  Let me know what will be a help and what we can do?   We will 
never be hesitant to do so.
Thank for your effort and taking responsibility for the comrade.
Nyein Chan

>From tinkyi@xxxxxxxxx Wed Oct 15 09:28:51 1997
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>Date: Thu, 16 Oct 1997 01:12:19 -0900
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>From: tinkyi@xxxxxxxxx (tinkyi)
>Subject: Immediate Action Call
>Cc: <kyi@xxxxxxxxxxx>, <tinkhet@xxxxxxxxxxx>
>ATTN: All
>Please take a moment to (1) read this important message (if you haven't
>already done so) about Ko Mya Wai, a democracy activist Japan is about 
>repatriate, and (2) write to the Japanese authorities urging them NOT 
>deport him.  Japan is very conscious about its international image, so
>pressure from abroad can make a big difference not only for Ko Mya Wai 
>also the rest of us who have applied for refugee status here.
>Thank you for your support in this critical hour.
>On behalf of (Joint Action Committee-Japan.)
>Tin Kyi ( General Secretary )
>Burma Youth Volunteer Association-Japan
>1. Introduction
>This is a report on an pro-democracy activist in Japan, Mya Wai, who 
>denied refugee status by the Ministry of Justice of Japan 
>on 13 August 1997 on the ground that the application was not filed 
>sixty days of his entry into Japan. (There is a provision in
> the Japanese law concerning immigration, so-called "Sixty Days Rule", 
>provides that an asylum seeker must apply for refugee 
>status within sixty days of his entry in Japan, or within sixty days of 
>occurrence of fear of persecution. Japan applies this 
>rule very strictly, and denies refugee status to the vast majority of 
>applications on the ground that the applications were not 
>filed within sixty days of the applicant's entry in Japan, regardless 
of the
>applicant's fear of persecution.) Mya Wai was
>also denied a special permit (a special residence permit issued by the
>Minister of Justice to those who lack any legal status in Japan),
>and is currently detained by the Immigration authorities.
>Until very recently, Burmese applicants for refugee status were granted
>provisional release on the ground that they were applicants
> for refugee status. However, although Mya Wai filed a new application 
>refugee status on 21 August, his request for a provisional 
>release was denied on 17 September. This is the first such case where a
>refugeeapplicant was not granted provisional release. We fear 
>that the immigration authorities are changing its policy towards asylum
>seekers to an even more restrictive one than before.
>2. Mya Wai's activities
>Before Mya Wai arrived in Japan, he was arrested and detained four 
times for
>participating in demonstrations and distributing fliers. 
>The first time was in 1974 when he was taking part in a demonstration 
at the
>time of former UN Secretary General U Thant's 
>memorial service. He was detained for six months. Here he was submitted 
to a
>form of torture where they bound him to a chair, and 
>made drops of water fall on his head from a hole in a jug placed about 
>meters above his head. Mya Wai was not able to move his 
>head as he was bound to a chair, and the water fell on the same spot. 
>time passed the pain became unbearable, and he could not 
>stand even the sound of the water dropping. This went on for a whole 
>from morning to the next morning, and Mya Wai fainted.
>The second time was in 1976 when he participated in the student rally 
>demonstration commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 
>birth of Thakin Kodawmaing.
>This time he was detained for four to five months, and he was asked
>questions such as 'Who is the leader of this movement? What does 
>the leader instruct you to do? Are you in contact with the underground
>communists?' He was also hit on the head and kicked by 
>shoes. According to Mya Wai, his hearing was damaged from having his 
>ground against the wall.
>Mya Wai was again arrested on May Day, 1977, for distributing fliers 
>criticized the government's labor policy. They said 
>'Oh, it is your third time,' and he was put in a punishment cell. He 
was not
>allowed to talk to anyone, and was not even given food 
>for the first two or three days. This cell was less than one square 
>big, so he could not sit down and had to keep standing. He 
>did not have access to toilet facilities. He was detained for three 
>On 7 July 1978, the anniversary of the students movement, Mya Wai was
>arrested again during a demonstration. When he gave his name as 
>Mya Wai, he was put in a dog cell because it was his fourth time. He 
>detained for four months. 
>3. Mya Wai's first visit to Japan
>Mya Wai came to Japan in December 1987. When in September 1988 the coup
>occurred in Burma that suppressed the nation's voice crying 
>for democracy, Mya Wai became active as a founding member of the 
>Association in Japan (BAIJ).
>4. Mya Wai's return to Burma
>Mya Wai returned to Burma in December 1989 because his mother was 
>ill. Two weeks after his return, his mother passed away.
>In January or February 1990, an M.I. came in the middle of the night 
>'I have some things to ask you,' and took Mya Wai away. Mya 
>Wai was interrogated about the BAIJ. The reason the military knew that 
>Wai was a member of BAIJ was because the staff of the 
>Myanmar Embassy in Japan take photographs of the people participating 
>demonstrations in Japan, and Mya Wai was in one of 
>the photographs. Mya Wai was actually shown that photograph. He was 
>about the BAIJ in general, and especially about what country 
>the BAIJ was related closely to, and what country the BAIJ received
>financial aid from. 
>Mya Wai was detained for about six months. He was made to shout 
>democracy!' until he was exhausted. He was made to pretend 
>that he was riding on a motorcycle, imitating the sound of the engine 
>his voice, or to pretend to be an airplane.
>Mya Wai was released finally after pledging that he would no longer 
>part in any pro-democracy activities.
>5. Mya Wai's second visit to Japan
>Mya Wai came again to Japan. After his arrival, he lived with Thein 
>who had obtained refugee status in 1993 and was a member of 
>BAIJ. Mya Wai resumed working with the BAIJ as soon as he returned to 
>He became an executive committee member in 1994, and has 
>been since then. Mya Wai participated as an individual in the hunger 
>that took place in Tokyo on 8 August 1996. An account of 
>this strike including a photograph showing Mya Wai, was carried in 
>Khin Thit', a semi-governmental publication in Burma.
>Mya Wai was able to communicate with his family until June 1997. The 
>time he telephoned them, he spoke to his wife. However, 
>after the press conference on 27 June 1997 regarding the parcel bomb
>explosion in which the SLORC named Thein Ngwe (mentioned above)
>and Thomas Gon Aung (a refugee applicant) as the senders of the parcel 
>and accused many more members of BAIJ as having 
>conspired in the incident, Mya Wai could no longer communicate with his
>family by telephone. In early July he called the neighbor of 
>his home in Burma who promised to bring Mya Wai's family to the phone 
at a
>certain time on the next day so that he might speak to 
>them. However, when Mya Wai called the neighbor the next day at the 
>time, that phone line did not work. 
>6. Conclusion and request
>It is clear that Mya Wai cannot go back to Burma under such 
>as it is certain that the SLORC would set him up as 
>having been involved in the parcel bomb plot.It is difficult to 
>why the Japanese government would not 
>grant refugee status to such a person merely because he did not apply 
>sixty days of his landing in Japan. We can only say 
>that the Japanese standard of granting refugee status is far from the
>standard set in the 1951 Convention.
>For Mya Wai to return to Burma is extremely dangerous. However, Japan 
>even deport a person such as Mya Wai.
>As stated above, Mya Wai is still in detention. Since he was detained, 
>Wai's blood pressure has gone up, and his physical 
>condition is by no means good.
>The lawyers' group assisting Burmese asylum seekers is preparing for a
>lawsuit demanding the cancellation of the denial to Mya Wai's 
>application for refugee status. 
>Please send a letter or FAX to the Japanese immigration asking it to
>reconsider Mya Wai's request for provisional release. 
>Sample letter (English)
>Dear Sir,
>I am writing in regard to Mr Mya Wai, a Burmese (Myanmarese) living in
>Japan, whose request for a provisional release was denied on 17 
>September 1997. Mr Mya Wai has been arrested and tortured several times 
>the military junta in his home country Burma (Myanmar), solely because 
>was taking part in pro-democracy activities. It would be extremely 
>for Mr Mya Wai if he should be deported to 
>Burma (Myanmar). Please reconsider Mr Mya Wai's request for provisional
>Yours Sincerely,
>Please mail this to:
>Tokyo Immigration Bureau, Ministry of Justice
>3-2-21 Nishigaoka, Kita-ku
>Tokyo 115 JAPAN
>FAX should be sent to 81-3-3263-3882 (The People's Forum on Burma). 
>PFB will forward the faxes to the immigration office. 
>Mya Wai, the activist who has been detained by immigration authorities 
>Japan because of lack of legal status in Japan, 
>was transferred to the detention center at Ushiku on 1 October. 
Transfer to
>the Ushiku center is generally taken as the last step
>before finally deporting the 'overstayer'. 
>(Please see previous posting for Mya Wai's background information.)
>Since he was detained on 13 August Mya Wai had been at the detention 
>at Jujo which is in Tokyo. On 1 October the immigration
>authorities transferred him to the center at Ushiku (about 1.5 hours by 
>from downtown Tokyo). None of Mya Wai's lawyers were 
>On 9 October the lawyers filed two lawsuits on Mya Wai's case against 
>Minister of Justice, one demanding the cancellation of the denial 
>of his application for refugee status, and the other demanding the
>cancellation of the issue of the order to repatriate). Soon after the 
>suits were filed, the Ministry of Justice informed the lawyers that Mya 
>will not be repatriated for two weeks, as it would take
>two weeks for the Ministry of Justice to submit a statement in response 
>the suits.
>Mya Wai has a record of arrests and torture by the SLORC when he was in
>Burma because of his participation in pro-democracy activities.
>He is also known to the SLORC as an activist in Japan and his photos 
>appeared in government newspapers in which the SLORC accuses 
>him as having been involved in the parcel bomb incident in April. It is
>extremely dangerous for him to be repatriated, although
>the immigration authorities do not seem to realize this in spite of 
>by lawyers and concerned citizens. 
>As stated above, transfer to Ushiku is generally done shortly before
>repatriation. Although the Ministry of Justice has promised not to 
>repatriate him for two weeks, Mya Wai remains in a very unstable 
>We are of the opinion that he should be released,
>especially as the recent lawsuits are likely to take at least six 
months to
>reach any conclusion.
>Please write to the Japanese immigration authorities! Please ask them 
not to
>repatriate Mya Wai and to reconsider his application for 
>provisional release.
>Please mail to:
>Tokyo Immigration Bureau, Ministry of Justice
>Keibi-ka (Security Division)
>3-2-21 Nishigaoka, Kita-ku
>Tokyo 115 JAPAN
>FAX should be sent to 81-3-3263-3882 (The People's Forum on Burma). PFB 
>will forward the faxes to the immigration office. 
>( The People's Forum on Burma/Lawyers group assisting Burmese 
applicants for
>refugee status )

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