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NEWS- Burma won't Let Jailed Opposi
- Subject: NEWS- Burma won't Let Jailed Opposi
- From: BurmaJapan@xxxxxxx
- Date: Tue, 02 Dec 1997 17:04:00
Burma won't Let Jailed Opposition Have Lawyers-Nld
RANGOON, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Eight jailed
members of Burma's leading opposition
party have been denied the right to hire
lawyers for their defence, the National
League for Democracy (NLD) said on
The NLD said eight party members, who
were arrested last month in connection
with NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi's
organisational trips to some townships,
were not allowed to defend themselves in
hearings on Tuesday.
``As it was learnt that the case would be
heard on December 2, 1997, respective
lawyers and family members of (the
detainees) went to the Insein Prison at
0900 today,'' an NLD statement said.
But it said prison officials did not permit
the lawyers to defend the NLD members
nor allow the family members to see the
detainees. It said the decision was made
in an order by ``higher authorities.''
Government officials could not be reached
for comment. ``Hearing of the cases
should be carried out in the presence of
the public and the right of defence through
the lawyers must be allowed according to
the Judiciary Law enacted by the State
Law and Order Restoration Council
(SLORC),'' the NLD statement said.
The SLORC was the previous military
government that ruled Burma with an iron
hand since seizing power in 1988. The
SLORC was dissolved last month and a
new ruling body, the State Peace and
Development Council (SPDC), was set up
and led by the same four top generals.
The SPDC has not made any policy
changes since taking power. The eight
NLD members, three of whom were
elected as members of parliament in an
annulled 1990 election, were arrested on
October 28 for their roles in political
gatherings the party and Suu Kyi tried to
organise in some of Rangoon's suburban
After the government allowed one meeting
to take place, it prevented the rest by
setting up barricades and trucking away
party supporters who had gathered at
various party headquarters.
One of the eight detainees was Dr Than
Nyein, brother-in-law of powerful SPDC
Secretary One, Lieutenant-General Khin
Than Nyein was one of the NLD members
elected as an MP in the 1990 election.
Although the SLORC called the poll, which
the NLD won by a landslide, it never
accepted the results.
Than Nyein was previously arrested early
this year for violating a law regarding
registration of private clinics. He was fined
and released after being held briefly.
The arrest was seen by some analysts as
a test of the strength of Khin Nyunt -- head
of military intelligence. It came amid talk of
a split within the SLORC between Khin
Nyunt and his followers and a hardline
Copyright 1997 Reuters Limited.All rights