A lawyer who was charged last month under Myanmar’s anti-terror law for allegedly financing an armed resistance group was transferred to Mandalay’s Obo Prison on Thursday.
Ywet Nu Aung, a prominent lawyer who has represented a number of high-profile clients, had been held at the Mandalay Palace interrogation centre since her arrest on April 27.
Despite that facility’s reputation for mistreatment of prisoners, she appeared to be in good physical condition, a source close to the lawyer told Myanmar Now.
“She’s in good health, but she lost some weight,” said the source.
Ywet Nu Aung was arrested last month following a hearing at Obo Prison for Dr. Zaw Myint Maung, the ousted chief minister of Mandalay Region and vice-chair of the deposed ruling party, the National League for Democracy (NLD).
She was later charged under Section 50j of the Counter-Terrorism Law, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.
The charge stems from claims made by Myanmar’s regime that a treasurer for a Mandalay-based armed resistance group had confessed to receiving money from Ywet Nu Aung.
The source close to the lawyer said that she would conduct her own defence.
“She won’t be acquiring another lawyer. She said she would represent herself,” said the source.
Ywet Nu Aung, 43, is a central executive committee member of the Mandalay Region branch of the NLD. In addition to defending Dr. Zaw Myint Maung, she has also represented Win Mya Mya, the vice chair of the Mandalay Region NLD party.
She was also the lawyer for “Victoria,” a preschool student who was sexually assaulted in Naypyitaw in 2019, in a case that sparked national outrage.
Another client was Swe Win, the editor-in-chief of Myanmar Now, in a defamation case laid against him by Mandalay-based ultranationalists. Ywet Nu Aung faced threats from the same ultranationalists for her involvement in the case.
According to prison sources, a hearing was also held for Ywet Nu Aung on Thursday. Details were not available at the time of reporting.
The palace has been transformed by Myanmar’s junta into one of the country’s most notorious interrogation centres