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Burma Frees, Deports Burmese-American Activist  བོད་སྐད།


Burma has released and deported a Burmese-American activist jailed on fraud and forgery charges.

Kyaw Zaw Lwin arrived in Bangkok, Thailand Thursday.

The pro-democracy activist -- commonly known as Nyi Nyi Aung -- told VOA's Burmese service he is happy to be free. But he said he is not fully celebrating because his friends and family are still in prison.

Nyi Nyi Aung was detained last September after he arrived in Burma to visit his ailing mother, who is in prison for political activities.

A Burmese court sentenced Nyi Nyi Aung last month to three years in prison. He was charged with violating immigration laws, possessing a fake national identity card and carrying undeclared foreign currency.

Burma's military government has not said why it freed him.

The United Nations estimates Burma is holding more than 2,100 political prisoners.

Nyi Nyi Aung was one of the organizers of Burma's 1988 pro-democracy uprising against the military government. He fled to the United States to escape a crackdown on activists, and eventually became a U.S. citizen.

Nyi Nyi Aung accused Burmese authorities of physically abusing him in custody. He staged a hunger strike shortly after his arrest to protest the prison conditions in Burma. Witnesses say he had been tortured, denied food and medical care.

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