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UK campaign group calls for release of U Gambira

U Gambira at a court in Maha Aungmye Township on 30 March 2016. Photo: Bo Bo/Mizzima

April 23, 2016

Burma Campaign UK yesterday called for the immediate and unconditional release of U Gambira, and all the remaining political prisoners in Myanmar.

U Gambira was a leader of the 2007 Saffron Revolution and a former political prisoner. He was arrested in 2007 and sentenced to 68 years in prison. He was released in 2012.

On 19 January 2016, he was arrested by around 20 police officers at his hotel room in Mandalay. He was charged under the Myanmar 1947 Immigration Act for illegally crossing the border and entering the country. U Gambira, who now lives in Thailand, travelled to Myanmar to obtain a new passport, and he was able to cross the Thailand-Myanmar border at an official crossing point without facing any problems.

He is currently being detained in Obo prison while his trial continues. He was refused bail despite the fact that he is suffering from physical and mental illness due to mistreatment during his previous imprisonment which requires him to take regular medication.

“The charges against U Gambira are politically motivated because of his political activities in the past,” said Wai Hnin, Campaigns Officer at Burma Campaign UK. “He was a leader of the Saffron Revolution and he has been through several arrests and horrific torture. He should be released immediately so that he can continue his medical treatment. I hope that the NLD-led government will work to release U Gambira and the remaining political prisoners in Burma.”

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