17th November 2020 – London/Yangon — On Tuesday 16th November four young students appeared in court after being charged under section 505(b) of the penal code dealing with sedition and causing public disturbances. The charges follow anti-war protests in Arakan’s capital, Sittwe Township, on October 19th. The students are U Than Naing, Myat Toe Win, Kyaw Naing Htay, and Kaung Tun. The prosecution against the students is a stark reminder of the ruling NLD party’s failure to protect freedom of expression, even as they swept the country’s general election last week.
“The government has made no effort to make a case for these charges but is instead trying to silence dissent. The NLD has continued to enable the military’s worst impulses by allowing for the prosecution of anyone who stands for peace as civilians continue to die and suffer in needless conflict,” said BHRN Executive Director, Kyaw Win.
BHRN calls on the government to realise the people’s desire for a genuine transition to democracy and to cancel the laws suppressing freedom of expression and assembly. Burma must drop all charges against the students immediately and release all other political prisoners. BHRN respects and stands by the students, the next generation, and their desire for a true democracy.
BHRN is based in London, operates across Burma and works for human rights, minority rights and religious freedom in Burma. BHRN has played a crucial role advocating for human rights and religious freedom with politicians and world leaders.
Kyaw Win, Executive Director
Burma Human Rights Network (BHRN)
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