Photo - ABFSU

Aung Htein | DMG
6 October, Sittwe

The All Burma Federation of Student Unions (ABFSU) said the Aungmyethazan Township Court in Mandalay has sentenced two students to an additional year in prison for protesting against military operations in Arakan State last month.

The students received another year behind bars on October 6 under Section 505(a) and (b) of the Penal Code, on top of a two-year sentence already handed down by a different court in Mandalay Region.

The Maha Aungmye Township Court on October 2 sentenced both students to two years in prison under Section 505(a) and (b) of the Penal Code, broadly worded provisions covering “statements conducing to public mischief.”

Ko Htoo Khant Thaw, secretary general of the ABFSU, said: “Military groups have labeled us as enemies.”

The convicted students, Ko Kyaw Thiha Ye Kyaw and Ko Soe Hla Naing, were arrested after participating in an anti-war demonstration in front of the clock tower near Mandalay’s Zaygyo Market on September 25.

They are also facing lawsuits under Section 19 of the Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession Law for protesting human rights abuses in Arakan State at another Mandalay demonstration on September 10.

“We all see that the judicial pillar cannot get out from under the military. No fair judgment here,” said Ko Aung Pyae Sone Phyo, vice chairman of the ABFSU.

The Chanayethazan Township Court handed down a one-month prison sentence to Ko Myo Chit Zaw aka Ko Ba Chit under Section 19 of the Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession Law on September 24 after he too was arrested for participating in a protest earlier that same day.

Charges have recently been brought against 15 students under the Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession Law and Penal Code provisions for protesting human rights violations in Arakan State, and 28 more students are currently evading arrest, according to an ABFSU press release.

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