Thursday, 14 November 2019

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Activist sentenced to 71 years in prison

New Delhi (Mizzima) – Fifteen political activists from three townships in Mandalay Division, who were held in Obo prison in Mandalay for three months, were given various prison sentences ranging from two years to 71 years on 30 December by a court sitting inside the prison.

The special branch of the police arrested the political activists from Myingyan, Nyaung Oo and Kyauk Padaung towns last September and October without giving any reasons and did not allow them to meet their family members during detention. They have been given prison sentences now, a family member who met one of the activists in a prison interview on January 6 said.

“Myo Han (Myingyan) was charged in 10 cases and sentenced to 51 years in prison. His elder sister saw him on January 6 but she was not allowed to speak to her brother freely,” a source close to the family member said.

Myo Han was given 15 years in prison with cases under the Electronic Act, nine years with three cases under Unlawful Associations Act, two years for inciting people against state security, 14 years with two cases under Printing and Publishing Act, eight years in the  with Associations Act and three years under the Television Act, he said quoting  his lawyer Myint Thwin.

The rest of the  activists, U Nandawuntha a.k.a. Aung Naing Oo from Myingyan was sentenced to 71 years, Dr. Wint Thu was given 28 years, Kyi Soe 22 years, Soe Phyo Yarzar Soe 14 years, Hla Myo Kyaw 14 years, Ko Ko Naing 28 years, Than Htike Aung 35 years and Wei Phyo 11 years respectively.

They are not only political activists but also volunteers who did relief work for Cyclone Nargis victims.

Similarly Myo Min Thant from Nyaung Oo was given 15 years in prison, Zaw Zaw five years, Kyaw Tun Linn 52 years, Ye Goung from Kyauk Padaung 19 years and Cho Cho Than eight years respectively. A monk named U Zaw Tika arrested in November last year from Thukha Waddy monastery in Kyauk Padaung town was sentenced to two years in prison on December 10 for "inciting crime against state security".

They were charged in various cases including having contact with Thailand-based Burmese opposition forces and then given varying prison terms.

Lawyers Myint Thwin and Kyaw Soe Lwin are representing them and they will file revision cases against the court verdicts.


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