Burma Dissidents Still Detained, Await Hearing

Two Burmese men arrested last month remain detained at the military prison in Phnom Penh while their case is being examined, a court official said Wed­nesday.

Meanwhile, a Burmese em­bassy spokesman in Phnom Penh said details of the men’s arrest in Battambang province on Jan 14 while allegedly attempting to raise military support for an anti-Rangoon movement have been sent to the Burmese government. But he said officials in Rangoon have not responded to the case.

Military Court official Nou Samedy said Wednesday that the two Burmese, identified as Mon Say and Kao Sik, are being detained at the military prison while their case is examined by the court’s Investigating Judge Nou Chantha. However, Nou Chantha denied Wednesday he is working the case.

The two Burmese nationals were detained in Samlot district for allegedly trying to establish contact with Cambodian soldiers willing to fight against Rangoon.

Por Vannak, Battambang military police commander, said the two were arrested for entering Cambodia illegally and handed over to Ministry of Defense officials in Phnom Penh.

Cambodian Bar Association Director Ang Eng Thong and a human rights worker both criticized the handling of the case Wednesday, noting the two were arrested for violating immigration laws and should be held in a civilian prison.

The Cambodian military also are ignoring international conventions ratified by the government to protect political dissidents, said the rights worker.

“For [the Burmese] there is zero respect being given to those conventions” said the rights worker, who added that the “military [court] is being used to take on political issues.”

(Additional reporting by Saing Soenthirith)

 

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