EXTERNAL AI Index: ASA 16/07/96
5 February 1996
Further information on 04/96 (ASA 16/03/96, 10 January 1996) and follow-up
(ASA 16/04/96, 19 January 1996) - Fear of ill-treatment / Legal concern
MYANMARU Pa Pa Lay, comedian
U Lu Zaw, comedian
U Myint Thein, NLD member
U Aung Soe, NLD member
Myodaw Win Mar (f), dancer
Ma Hnin Pa Pa (f), dancer
U Tin Myint Hlaing, musician
U Sein Hla, musician
U Win Htai, musician
U Htwe, manager of dance troupe
Daw Myaing (f), assistant to dancers
Ma Yin Tin Shwe (f), assistants to dancers
Amnesty International welcomes the news that eight members of the dance troupe
Myo Daw Win Mar Anyeint - Myodaw Win Mar, Ma Hnin Pa Pa, U Tin Myint Hlaing,
U Sein Hla, U Win Htai, U Htwe, Daw Myaing and Ma Yin Tin Shwe - have been
released from detention.
However, the two comedians, U Pa Pa Lay and U Lu Zaw, and U Myint Thein and
U Aung Soe, who arranged for the troupe's performance, have been moved to
Mandalay Prison where they await trial. U Myint Thein and U Aung Soe are members
of the National League for Democracy (NLD), the opposition party founded by
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Amnesty International remains concerned for the
well-being of the four, as torture and ill-treatment is common both during
interrogation and after sentencing.
U Pa Pa Lay, U Lu Zaw, U Myint Thein, and U Aung Soe have been charged under
the Section 5(j) of the 1950 Emergency Provisions Act, which provides for a
seven-year prison sentence and fine for anyone who: "causes or intends to disrupt
the morality or the behaviour of a group of people or the general public, or
to disrupt the security or the reconstruction of stability of the Union...".
The Emergency Provisions Act is frequently used by the State Law and Order
Restoration Council (SLORC, Myanmar's military authorities) to criminalize
peaceful political activity. In view of this, Amnesty International remains
concerned that U Pa Pa Lay, U Lu Zaw, U Myint Thein, and U Aung Soe are being
held solely for the peaceful political activities.
Since the NLD withdrew from the SLORC-convened National Convention in late
November 1995, there has been increasing harassment of the party by the SLORC,
including the arrests of dozens of party members. Many people have been detained
for possessing videotapes of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's weekend speeches, others
for writing a poem commemorating the death in custody of an NLD colleague.
Amnesty International is concerned by a growing pattern of arrests aimed at
silencing any NLD activity.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/
airmail letters in English or in your own language:
- welcoming the release of eight members of the dance troupe, Myo Daw Win Mar