Jailed for Exposing Burmese Army’s Human Rights Abuses
Burma Campaign UK today called for the immediate and unconditional release of Khaing Myo Htun and urged the Burmese government to reform the Prisoners of Conscience Affairs Committee and to ensure the release of Khaing Myo Htun and all remaining political prisoners in Burma.
Khaing Myo Htun is a Rakhine human rights activist and a spokesperson of the Arakan Liberation Party (ALP). His arrest was related to a statement issued by the ALP which exposed the various human rights abuses committed by the Burmese Army in Rakhine State.
After the statement was issued in April, Rakhine State Border Affairs and Security Minister Colonel Htein Lin summoned Khaing Myo Htun to the government office in Sittwe and threatened him personally with prosecution if the ALP’s allegations could not be substantiated.
Khaing Myo Htun provided evidence of the allegations to the authorities in May. However, an army officer filed a complaint against Khaing Myo Htun claiming that he had committed the offences of sedition/endangering public tranquillity and incitement.
He was arrested on 25th July and charged under Section 505 (b) and (c) of the Myanmar Penal code. He was denied bail and currently being detained in Sittwe Prison while his trial continues.
“The arrest of the Rakhine activist Khaing Myo Htun is politically motivated because of his peaceful political activities, and he has been detained for five months,” said Wai Hnin, Campaigns Officer at Burma Campaign UK. “Khaing Myo Htun’s case shows that activists in Burma still continue to face harassment for speaking out the truth and criticising the army. The NLD-led government must ensure the immediate and unconditional release of Khaing Myo Htun and all the remaining political prisoners.”