Tuesday, 19 November 2019

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Three activists sentenced to three years each

New Delhi (Mizzima) - A township court in Burma’s former capital city of Rangoon on Wednesday sentenced three opposition party members to three years imprisonment each.

The defendants, members of the humanitarian committee of Burma’s main opposition party, National League for Democracy (NLD), were charged with unlawful association and handed three year sentences with hard labor by the Insein Township court, according to their lawyer, Kyaw Hoe, who was present at the court session on Wednesday.

Shwe Joe, a resident of Hlaing Township, Sein Hlaing, a resident of San Chaung Township, and Ma Cho of Ahlone Township were accused of communicating with the NLD in exile and accepting cash from an individual named Sein Hlaing in the amount of 15 million kyat (USD 15,000).

Kyaw Hoe said the trial took no civilian testimony and that no evidence was provided in support of the guilty charge, a verdict based solely on the police testimony.

“We [the defense] in our argument demanded acquittal. But the prosecution lawyer stood up and said the accused are found guilty based on prosecution witness testimony and should thus be sentenced,” Kyaw Hoe extrapolated. 

The defendants, however, denied having communicated with the NLD in exile, rejecting all charges.

“In our argument, we demanded the prosecution provide us the witness testimonies that found the accused guilty. But the court did not provide any evidence when handing down the verdict today,” he added.

The accused were arrested from their Rangoon residences on March 6, 2009, after which they were detained in Insein prison.


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