Amnesty International decries sentencing of Burmese activist
Posted on April 10th, 2015

By NJ Thakuria

Guwahati: Well-known political activist of Burma (Myanmar) Ko Wai Lu has been imprisoned for one year by a Rangoon (Yangon) based lower court for providing support to protesters who were calling on the authorities to resolve their land disputes and been sent to Insein prison in Yangon. Amnesty International has termed the  sentence of Ko Wai Lu  ‘arbitrary’ and demanded his immediate release.

The media report confirms that on 8 April 2015 the prominent Burmese political activist was sentenced to one-year in prison by the Yangon based Kyauktada township court. Ko Wai Lu was sentenced under Section

505(b) of Myanmar’s Penal Code – a law commonly used to arrest and detain political activists – which provides for up to two years’

imprisonment for publishing or circulating information which may cause public fear or alarm and may incite persons to commit offences against the State or against the public tranquility.

Ko Wai Lu was arrested on 18 December 2014 while he was offering support, encouragement and reportedly providing water to peaceful protesters from the Michaungkan community. The community had been staging a peaceful sit-in protest near Yangon’s City Hall in response to the Myanmar authorities’ failure to resolve their land dispute.

Amnesty International is concerned that the Myanmar authorities are targeting individuals involved or associated with the Michaungkan community protests. In September 2014, Michaungkan community leader U Sein Than was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment for protesting without permission and obstructing the sidewalk,” said a statement issued by the international rights body.

Mentionable is that Ko Wai Lu was arrested and detained multiple times in the past for his involvement in peaceful political activities. His arrest in December 2014 came less than a month after he was released from prison, having been sentenced in August 2014 to four months in detention for protesting without permission against a rise in electricity prices in Mandalay.

Amnesty International  also raised voices for releasing all members of the Michaungkan community who have been detained solely for the peaceful exercise of their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. It also added that if not released immediately, Ko Wai Lu with his comrades must not be tortured or ill-treated. The international forum also demanded that the family members and lawyers should be allowed to meet the detainees.

One Response to “Amnesty International decries sentencing of Burmese activist”

  1. Christie Says:

    Namaste: Who is paying Amnasty International for this action. Jai Hind

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