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Burma: Intel Officer Granted Asylum in Norway

Press Release: Terry Evans 19 February

Burma: Military Intelligence Officer Granted Asylum in Norway

Major Hla Win, a former senior Military Intelligence officer in the Burmese army, has just been granted political asylum in Norway. He fled to Thailand with his teenage son after refusing orders to attack Buddhist monks during last September's anti-junta protests.

Major Win, 42, and his 17-year-old son fled to Thailand. Father and son then applied for political asylum in Norway, where many Burmese opposition supporters live in exile. "I am a Buddhist," he told the Norwegian broadcaster TV2 Norway after his escape, "I don't want to kill monks." Win stated that many more people had been killed than previously reported by Western media. He claimed that "several thousand" protesters were killed in last September's crackdown, with the bodies of executed monks dumped in the jungle to avoid detection. Major Win is the most senior officer to defect from the Burmese military to date.

Burma has been under military rule since 1962. In 1988 a pro-democracy uprising was crushed, killing an estimated 3,000 protesters.

ENDS

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