U Gambira cleared of all charges
The former monk and Saffron Revolution leader walked free from Insein Prison in Yangon last week as all charges against him were dropped.
FORMER monk and Saffron Revolution leader U Gambira was released from Insein Prison in Yangon on July 1, after charges related to a 2012 trespassing incident were dropped, according to the Bahan Township Court.
U Gambira, whose real name is U Nyi Nyi Lwin, had been behind bars for nearly six months on an immigration-related charge. Those charges were widely decried by human rights groups and criticised as being politically motivated.
The 37-year-old’s legal team had appealed to the judge for bail on the basis of mental health, as U Gambira suffers from acute post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from his time as a political prisoner and the abuse he suffered at the hands of authorities during the 2007 Saffron Revolution uprising.
He was transferred from Mandalay Prison to Insein Prison on June 26. The 2012 charges, which have been dropped, stemmed from an incident in which U Gambira, looking for a place to sleep, broke down the door of a monastery that had been shuttered during the 2007 uprising.
Before the charges were dropped, U Gambira had been scheduled to face another criminal hearing on July 11.
“I will face the trial as I have been charged for the new government’s 100day plan,” U Gambira had said before the charges were dropped. “But the new government needs to carry out the cases of prisoners and detained people without neglecting their situations.”
– Translation by San Layy
U Nyi Nyi Lwin (right), a former monk better known as U Gambira, greets a friend at a court in Yangon following his release on July 1.