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Updates on Mya Wai's case

  * Updates on U Mya Wai's case *

On 24 October, the Ministry of Justice of Japan submitted a statement
to the Tokyo District Court. This statement is in response to the 
request for suspension of execution of the repatriation order for
U Mya Wai which had been filed to the Court on 9 October by U Mya 
Wai's lawyers. 

The statement, which is 75 pages long, asks the Court to reject the
request. It at length is trying to impress the court that there is
no reason for U Mya Wai to fear persecution when he is repatriated.
According to the statement, this is because U Mya Wai has not submitted
any documents to prove his participation in pro-democracy activities
in Burma. The statement also points out some inconsistencies in what
U Mya Wai has been saying at the various interviews done during the
refugee application process regarding the dates of his arrest and
the length of detention, saying that if the arrests and torture
had such an effect on him that he would fear persecution, U Mya Wai 
would remember the dates and the time periods correctly. 

The lawyers representing U Mya Wai held a meeting this morning (30
Oct) and they are planning to submit another statement in response
to the one from the Ministry of Justice by 5 November. They are 
also working hard to gather 'evidence' to convince the Court that
it would be very dangerous for U Mya Wai to be repatriated. 
The Court is expected to make a decision on the request (for suspension
of repatriation) in two weeks. 

In the meantime, there has been no action on the part of the Ministry
of Justice regarding the second application for refugee status 
(filed on 21 September) or application for provisional release (filed
on 17 October). 

Over 40 letters and faxes have come from around the world and within
Japan expressing concern on this case to the Immigration Bureau 
in care of the People's Forum on Burma. They have been forwarded
to the Immigration Bureau, and photocopies of them have been forwarded
to U Mya Wai.

According to the lawyers that have been to see U Mya Wai recently,
his physical condition, which was by no means good at the beginning 
of detention, has improved considerably. 

Yesterday, the Nagoya District Court made a decision to repeal the 
decision by the Ministry of Justice not to grant refugee status to
a Pakistani man. The court said that the man will be in danger of 
persecution if he goes back to Pakistan. This is the very first case 
in Japan in which the court repealed the rejection of refugee status 
by the Ministry of Justice. This is a considerably encouraging news.

The People's Forum on Burma/Lawyers' group for Burmese asylum seekers