Former Journalist and Political Leader Re-Arrested
International PEN is seriously concerned about the detention of former journalist and member of the National League for Democracy (NLD) Ohn Kyaing, on October 1, 2008. The reason for his arrest is not yet known. PEN seeks details of any charges against him, and calls for his immediate and unconditional release if held in violation of Article 19 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
According to PEN’s information, on October 1, 2008, Ohn Kyaing, aged 64, was arrested at his home in Rangoon by the Special Intelligence Police Unit. It has been reported that Ohn Kyaing was a member of the Cyclone Nargis Emergency Relief Committee formed by the NLD, although the authorities have not yet made public the reason for his arrest. Two other leading activists remain detained for their roles in the relief effort following Cyclone Nargis, comedian Zargana and journalist Zaw Thet Hwe.
Ohn Kyaing was an elected Member of Parliament for the NLD in the 1990 election, which the Burmese military regime refused to recognize. He was also a translator and editor, and wrote articles for the publications Hanthawaddy and Botahtaung under the pen name Aung Wint. Ohn Kyaing was previously arrested on September 6,1990 and sentenced to 17 years in prison for “writing and distributing seditious pamphlets and threatening state security.” He was released from Taungoo Prison on January 3, 2005, as part of a general amnesty.
Write A Letter
- Expressing serious concern about the detention of former journalist and political leader Ohn Kyaing, and seeking details of any charges against him;
- Calling for his immediate and unconditional release if held in violation of Article 19 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
- Volunteers may consider writing letters to their national newspapers expressing alarm at events in Burma, and highlighting Ohn Kyaing’s case to illustrate the many years of repression in the country.
Send Your Letter To
While the situation in Burma is still critical, letters sent to the country may not be received or taken as a priority. It is therefore recommended that appeals be sent to the diplomatic representative of Myanmar (Burma) in your own country.myan