Protest as jailed Briton is beaten

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The Independent Online

British officials have summoned Myanmar's ambassador in London to protest the "outrageous" prison beating of a British democracy campaigner. James Mawdsley, 27, was beaten with bamboo poles for protesting about his solitary confinement, his father said . His father David said on BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "He was beaten up by 15 men. He got a broken nose. He has blackened eyes. But what we are really concerned about is the rest of his body, because they could have damaged his liver, his kidneys or his spleen." He described the attack as an "act of barbarism". British vice consul Karen Williams also reported that Mawdsley had a broken nose and two black eyes when she visited him at the prison in the town of Keng Tung, 630 kilometers (390 miles) northeast of the capital, Yangon. Foreign Secretary Robin Cook said the attack on Mawdsley was "an outrageous violation of his human rights" by the authorities in Myanmar, also known as Burma. He said: "It is yet another example of the Burmese regime's u

British officials have summoned Myanmar's ambassador in London to protest the "outrageous" prison beating of a British democracy campaigner. James Mawdsley, 27, was beaten with bamboo poles for protesting about his solitary confinement, his father said . His father David said on BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "He was beaten up by 15 men. He got a broken nose. He has blackened eyes. But what we are really concerned about is the rest of his body, because they could have damaged his liver, his kidneys or his spleen." He described the attack as an "act of barbarism". British vice consul Karen Williams also reported that Mawdsley had a broken nose and two black eyes when she visited him at the prison in the town of Keng Tung, 630 kilometers (390 miles) northeast of the capital, Yangon. Foreign Secretary Robin Cook said the attack on Mawdsley was "an outrageous violation of his human rights" by the authorities in Myanmar, also known as Burma. He said: "It is yet another example of the Burmese regime's utter lack of respect for the standards of the international community. Baroness Scotland, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, is urgently summoning the Burmese Ambassador in London. The Burmese cannot treat our nationals like this." Cook said Mawdsley should either be released or be transferred to a prison in the capital where he could receive regular consular visits. Mawdsley, from Southport, Lancashire, was sentenced to 17 years in prison in September 1999 for handing out pro-democracy leaflets. He had been arrested in Myanmar twice before, and in 1998 he served 99 days of a seven-year sentence. He was pardoned on condition he not return to the country.

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