Prominent Buddhist monk Ashin Gambira, a former Burmese political prisoner just one month out of jail, was arrested again today. Burmese police arrested him at 2 a.m., The Irrawaddy reported.
Gambira helped lead the 2007 Saffron Revolution, an uprising against the military government that ruled Burma at the time. In 2008, Gambira was sentenced to 32 years in prison for his role in the uprising, Asia News reported.
The country of Burma, also known as Myanmar, had a reputation for being one of the most repressive countries in Asia, the New York Times reported. But President Thein Sein has scaled back on much of the country's more authoritarian practices recently. Thein Sein's new reforms have earned him praise from the United States and the European Union, former harsh critics of Burma during its years of military rule.
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Sein released Gambira along with hundreds of other political prisoners in January. But soon after his release, Gambira spoke out against Burma's new leadership. “The government has transformed its external appearance into a civilian one but their efforts to implement democracy are still rather weak, while many cases of human rights violations continue,” Gambira told Democratic Voice of Burma.
The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, based on the Thai-Burma border, told the Times that at least 415 political prisoners are still in detention.
Reasons for Gambira's new arrest are still unclear. One official said that Gambira had been taken in for “questioning in relation to an incident that happened after his release," the Times reported.