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Six Karen Villagers Sent to Remote Khamti Jail in Northern Burma

ICC Note:

Christian pastor arrested and sent to remote jail on suspicion of supporting armed ethnic resistance movement.

Democratic Voice of Burma (07/10/06) – Six Karen villagers including a Christian pastor from Tawkywe-inn Township in eastern Pegu Division, were arrested at their homes and sent to Khamti Jail in northern Burma , on suspicion of being hardcore supporters of the Karen National Union (KNU).

Six villagers including their pastor Saw Tun Ni from Bo Kone Village, Khintanggyi Hamlet in Tawkywe-inn Township were arrested in the second week of June and transferred to Taungoo Jail straight away, according to sources from the prison. Then, on 21 June, they were transferred to Mandalay Prison and then onto remote Khamti Jail on the 27th.

Although it is not known exactly why they were detained and what kind of sentences they were handed down on, the villagers could be accused of being hardcore KNU supporters as they are Karen nationals, according to local residents. Bo Kone Village is among one of the ten villages which were destroyed by the military which accused the villagers of having contacts with the rebels and it was forcibly relocated just before the SPDC Information minister Kyaw San’s visit to Karen State with journalists during last month.

The relatives of the detainees have either been sent to other villages or fled to the Thai-Burmese border and there is no one to come and see them at the jail.