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Monks leader U Gambira faces death penalty

Amnesty International, Nov 21, 2007

London, UK -- Amnesty International today admitted that it has deep concern over the future of U Gambira, the 27-year-old leader of the All-Burma Monks Alliance (ABMA).

The ABMA was instrumental in getting thousands of monks onto the streets in pro-democracy demonstrations at the end of September this year. The protests came to an end after a brutal crackdown by the country's ruling military junta, which left at least 13 people dead and hundreds injured.

Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty International UK, said:"U Gambira went into hiding shortly after the crackdown, but Amnesty International has now received reliable reports that he has been arrested and charged with treason for his role in the demonstrations. If convicted he faces either life imprisonment or the death sentence. His exact whereabouts remain unclear and Amnesty International believes he is in grave danger of torture or ill-treatment."

Other members of his family have been arrested as 'hostages' in an
attempt to force him out of hiding, including his brother Aung Kyaw Kyaw, who was arrested in October, and his father Min Lwin. Both are still being detained, and like U Gambira, Amnesty does not know where they are being held and has fears over their safety.

Meanwhile, the well-known labour rights activist Su Su Nway has also been arrested. She was arrested on 13 November in Rangoon after attempting to put up leaflets during the recent visit by the UN Special Rapporteur to investigate human rights abuses in Burma. She is being held in Insein Prison in Rangoon.

Amnesty International has called on its 2.2 million members worldwide to write to Burma's head of state, the Chairman of the State Peace and Development Council, Senior General Than Shwe, and the country's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nyan Win, to express their fears for the safety of the four persons.

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