Myanmar releasing US man jailed for fraud, forgery: Official

Last Updated: Thursday, March 18, 2010 - 15:41

Yangon: Military-ruled Myanmar was due to release on Thursday a US rights activist, who was jailed for three years in February for fraud and forgery, an official said.

"The authorities are handing him over to embassy officials today," said a Myanmar official on condition of anonymity.

The US embassy refused to make any immediate comment.

Rights activist Kyaw Zaw Lwin, also known as Nyi Nyi Aung, was sentenced to three years in jail after being convicted of forging an identity card, failing to declare currency at customs and violating immigration law.

The democracy advocate`s supporters said he had travelled to Myanmar to visit his ailing mother, herself detained over political activities, when he was arrested on September 3.

More than 50 US lawmakers released a letter seeking Kyaw Zaw Lwin`s release on health grounds after his lawyers said he had been deprived of food, sleep, medical treatment and US consular access in his first two weeks of detention.

The United States has changed diplomatic tack on Myanmar in recent months, seeking greater engagement with the regime after years of isolation while maintaining sanctions.

But US officials have remained vocally critical of Myanmar`s ruling junta, describing plans for polls in the country this year as "devoid of credibility" as they exclude opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners from taking part.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, March 18, 2010 - 15:41

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