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Burmese-American Makes Court Appearance in Rangoon


Burmese-born pro-democracy activist Kyaw Zaw Lwin was charged last week by a Burmese court with forgery and currency violations.

U.S. Embassy officials say a detained Burmese-American has made another court appearance in Burma's main city, Rangoon.

A statement from the U.S. Embassy in Rangoon says Burmese-born pro-democracy activist Kyaw Zaw Lwin, also known as Nyi Nyi Aung, appeared in court Tuesday. The statement says a consular officer from the U.S. Embassy attended the hearing.

Lwin was arrested in September on his arrival in Burma. Last week a court charged him with forgery and currency violations.

U.S. Embassy officials have visited Lwin in jail, and attended his court appearances. The U.S. has called on Burma to follow international standards of due process in the case.

His next court appearance is scheduled for Friday.

Lwin settled in the United States after fleeing Burma in the late 1980s.

A letter signed by 53 U.S. lawmakers calling for Lwin's immediate release was sent to the Burmese government last month. The letter says the activist is being held for his pro-democracy activities, and that his detention raises doubts about efforts to improve relations between the U.S. and Burma's military-led government.

The human rights group Freedom Now says Lwin has been tortured since his arrest. Last month Lwin launched a hunger strike to protest his treatment.

Embassy officials say he has since ended his hunger strike and is now receiving regular medical attention.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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