Burma Expected to Hand Down Verdict in Trial of Burmese-American Activist
By SOF Editor on Tue, 01/26/2010 - 12:11pm
Burmese authorities are expected to hand down the verdict in the trial of a Burmese-American rights activist Wednesday.
Kyaw Zaw Lwin, also known as Nyi Nyi Aung, was one of the organizers of the 1988 pro-democracy uprising. He fled Burma for neighboring Thailand following a military crackdown on activists. He later became a U.S. citizen.
Kyaw Zaw Lwin was arrested at Rangoon airport on September 3 as he tried to enter the country to visit his ailing mother, also an activist who is serving a prison term in Burma.
He was tried in a criminal court in October for alleged possession of a forged Burmese identity card and failing to declare foreign currency. He denies the charges.
Rights organizations say the charges are trumped up and that Kyaw Zaw Lwin was arrested before he had a chance to make any declarations to the customs.
Kyaw Zaw Lwin had gone on hunger strike to protest inhumane prison conditions in Burma. Witness reports said the activist was tortured, denied food and medical care, and was confined in a dog pen.
His mother is serving a jail term for participating in a peaceful demonstration. She reportedly has cancer.