Burmese Activist Monk Taken into Custody

Posted February 10th, 2012 at 2:10 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Burmese authorities have detained a Buddhist monk who was recently freed from jail for leading the 2007 anti-government protests.

Witnesses told Western news outlets that Shin Gambira was taken early Friday morning from a monastery in Rangoon by several men who identified themselves as members of the government's Rangoon division.

The men did not say where they were taking Gambira or why.

Shin Gambira was a leader of the so-called “Saffron Revolution” led by monks against the military government in power at the time. The mass protest was brutally crushed by authorities, and Gambira was later sentenced to 68 years in prison, including 12 years of hard labor.

He has reportedly been reopening monasteries that were closed by the former military government in the aftermath of the crackdown.

Gambira was among 651 political prisoners released from detention last month by Burma's new, military-backed civilian government.

The release was part of a series of democratic reforms undertaken by the new government, such as reaching peace deals with ethnic rebel forces, engaging in talks with pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and allowing greater media freedoms.