Sunday, 17 November 2019

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Insein court tacks 10 years on to youth’s term

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – The jail term of a National League for Democracy party youth member serving a sentence for distributing Aung San Suu Kyi’s portrait has been extended 10 years bringing the total penalty to 14½ years, according to a political prisoners’ rights group based in Thailand. 

Rangoon East District court yesterday heard the case of NLD Tamwe Township youth wing chief Kyaw Moe Naing, a.k.a. Kyaw Gyi, inside Insein prison and added 10 years to his jail term under the Electronic Act. 

The military regime widely uses this Electronics Act to punish for punishing pro-democracy oppositions. Section 33(b) bans the disseminating of information on the internet which can destabilise the state and undermine state security. 

Among the more than 2,100 political prisoners, almost all sentenced to long terms after 2005 were charged under this law, Assistance Association for Political Prisoners-Burma (AAPP-B) secretary Teik Naing said. 

“The judge said that the defendant had used the internet to disseminate information to ‘unlawful exile associations’,” said Myo Than Htiek, who witnessed the verdict. 

The judge failed however to refer specific unlawful associations.

The police arrested Kyaw Moe Naing and his party colleagues Aung Aung, a.k.a. Aung Aung Oo, Kyaw Win Tun, a.k.a. Bo Tun, on June 12 last year near the Tamwe roundabout while they were distributing portraits of opposition leader and Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to passers-by.

Kyaw Moe Naing was originally sentenced to two years in prison under section 505(b) of the Penal Code for offences against the state and public tranquility and another two years for contact with unlawful associations. He was already serving these terms in Insein prison. His colleagues were also each serving two-year terms on the same charge of committing an offence against the state. 

The youths were arrested while pro-democracy leader Suu Kyi was on trial inside Insein prison charged with violating the terms of her house arrest by “entertaining” intruder US citizen John Yettaw, who had swum across Inya Lake in Rangoon and stayed at her crumbling villa for two nights.


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