U Gam­bira cleared of all charges

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - TOE WAI AUNG toe­wa­iaung@mm­times.com

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

Photo: EPA

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.

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