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Burma: Amnesty appalled as Junta re-arrest U Win Htein

Amnesty International today condemned the Burmese authorities decision to re-arrest U Win Htein just days after his release.

The 66-year-old is a senior assistant to Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the opposition National League of Democracy in Burma. He was released from Kathar prison a week ago.

On Friday he was picked up by police officers in a guest house in the town of Kathar where he was staying for the night before catching a boat to Mandalay the following morning to meet his wife. He is now back in Kathar prison. It is not known why he was re-arrested or how much longer he will remain imprisoned.

Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty International UK, said:

“There are nearly 2,100 political prisoners in Burma. Last week’s release of U Win Htein and six other dissidents had raised hopes that perhaps a change was on the horizon.

“U Win Htein’s re-arrest puts a firm end to that illusion and illustrates clearly that there is no policy change by the Burmese government over freeing political prisoners.”

· U Win Htein, 66, was originally imprisoned in 1996 for, among other “offences”, organising farmers and NLD members to collect agricultural statistics. He had been held in solitary confinement and suffers from numerous health problems, including hypertension and heart disease.

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