Insein Prison court hands three-year sentences to 10 student activists

April 4th, 2022  •  Author:   Ten student activists (Yangon Region)  •  3 minute read
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An anti-dictatorship protest in Sagaing Region’s Kalay Township in December last year (Supplied)

A lawyer for one of the students said he had heard his client was tortured in detention 

By Myanmar Now

A court inside Yangon’s Insein Prison last week gave three-year sentences to 10 people–a journalist and nine student activists–for their opposition to the military dictatorship.

Among those sentenced for sedition under Section 505a were five members of students’ unions in Yangon, four university students, and a freelance journalist named Zaw Lin Htut, who is an alumni.

Su Yee Lin, the chair of the Eastern Yangon University Students’ Union, was arrested along with Zaw Lin Htut, also known as Phoe Thar, in Thingangyun Township on December 19.

The pair will have two months taken off their sentences for time served, their lawyer said.

The junta has filed another two charges against Su Yee Lin, who is also known as Lin Lin, under immigration laws, the lawyer said, though he was not able to give further details. The pair are in good health, he added.

Zaw Lin Htut was jailed in 2019 for mocking the military as part of a satirical troupe called the Peacock Generation. He was released the following year.

Phoe Thar (left) and Su Yee Lin received three-year sentences last month

The others sentenced at Insein Prison last week included Khant Thu Aung, the chair of a branch of the Yangon Economic University Students’ Union, and Yin Myat Noe Oo, the branch’s treasurer.

They were arrested in April last year at the Kyauk Myaung market in Tamwe along with Phyo Kyaw Naing, member of the union, and Min Hein Khant, a former union member.

Yin Myat Noe Oo has already received a three-year sentence for a separate 505a charge on February 17.

Khant Thu Aung has said he is concerned for his own safety, said Thet Naung, his lawyer.

“He instructed us to keep an eye on his status. He’s very worried about getting targeted,” the lawyer said. “I heard he was tortured as well. Although the others are being held near the meditation center, he is being held at the main ward.” He did not give further details.

Also sentenced last week were a group of four Dagon University students who were detained in June last year. They are Kyaw Lin Htut, a biochemistry student, Su Mon, an archeology student, Zin Lin Aung, a botany student, and Maung Min Khant, who studies zoology.

La Pyae, a member of the Ywar Thar Gyi branch of the Yangon Economic University Students’ Union, said that the imprisoned students have urged people to continue fighting for the end of the dictatorship.

“It’s not a strange thing for students to go to prison in such a dark time,” he said. “We have to continue fighting.”

Original Post: Myanmar Now