American on hunger strike in Myanmar jail: Lawyer

Last Updated: Saturday, December 12, 2009 - 09:53

Washington: A US citizen jailed in military-run Myanmar has gone on a hunger strike and is in deteriorating health, his fiancée and overseas lawyer said.
They said US diplomats have been prohibited from seeing Myanmar-born Kyaw Zaw Lwin, who also goes by the alias Nyi Nyi Aung, and that a court cancelled a hearing that had been scheduled yesterday due to his health.

"I`m greatly concerned that something must be terribly wrong with him," his fiancee Wa Wa Kyaw, who lives in the Washington area, said.

Beth Schwanke, his Washington-based international counsel, said Nyi Nyi Aung stopped taking food on December 4 to demand better conditions for political prisoners.

"We are extremely concerned," Schwanke said yesterday. "We`ve received reports that his health is very seriously deteriorating, but we don`t have very much information because the US embassy has been denied access."

Dissident groups from Myanmar, earlier known as Burma, have said Nyi Nyi Aung is a democracy activist and was hoping to see his ailing mother, herself detained over political activities, when he was arrested on September 3.

His lawyers say he was deprived of food, sleep, medical treatment and US consular access in his first two weeks of detention.


First Published: Saturday, December 12, 2009 - 09:53

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