Demonstators across Mynamar charged

Demonstators across Mynamar charged
A Myanmar activist shouts slogans during a rally to protest against the crackdown by police on recent student-led protests, in Mandalay on March 21, 2015.

Students and supporters from Yangon and some towns who demonstrated on Friday against the crackdown on the main student protest column have been charged for violating Section 18 and other sections.

The charged students, supporters and monks from Yangon, Taungoo, Myingyan, and Hinthada have been charged with Section 18 of the Peaceful Assembly and Procession Law, and Section 143, Section 145, and Section 505 (B) of the Penal Code.

Students and supporters demonstrated on Friday morning in Yangon against the crackdown on Letpadan main student protest column and after dispersing, plainclothes police went after the students and detained them. Three students - Nanda Sit Aung, a leader from the All Burma Federation of Student Unions (ABFSU), Shein Razar Tun, and Aung Htet Aung, aka, Aung Aung - were detained in Mingalar Taungnyunt Township on Friday. All three students were charged under Section 18 at Pabedan Police Station and Shein Razar Tun and Aung Htet Aung were released on bail, according to a report received yesterday afternoon.

A monk and two students who led the demonstration against the Letpadan crackdown in Taungoo, Bago Region, at around 10:10 am on Friday have been charged with Section 18.

The charged people were Sayadaw U Ottama who participated and gave a talk during the demonstration and Thant Lwan Wai Chit, a second-year student majoring in botany from the Taungoo University, and Than Dana, a second-year student majoring in English from the Taungoo University.

Aye, inspector and head of No.2 Area Police Station in Taungoo, served as a plaintiff and opened the case against the demonstrators under Section 18 for assembling without permission.

"During the first day before the demonstration, the township administrator called and met us. He told us not to demonstrate on March 27 since it is Armed Forces Day. But as it had already decided to denounce and demonstrate against police's violent crackdown on the students in Letpadan at 10:10 a.m. on March 10, we did the demonstration," said Thant Lwan Wai Chit, who has been released on bail after being detained.

A total of 12 people have been charged under Section 18 in Taungoo since last September, including nine people who demonstrated against the National Education Law last year.

Among them, the three people who were charged last September were fined by Kar Lat, a judge of the Taungoo Township, on December 30, 2014.

Moreover, Htet Myat Hlaing, a student from Hinthada Computer University, and Hsan Lin Htike, a student from Hinthada Technology University, were charged with Section 18 concerning the demonstration held on Friday by the Hinthada District Student Union, according to the head of Hinthada Police Force.

Myo Min Zaw, chairperson of Hinthada District ABFSU, has also been charged for violating Section 18 concerning the denouncement of violence held on March 9, but he has not been interrogated yet due to his exams, Police Superintendent Toe Win said.

Three students - Nyan Myint Than and Sithu Myat, second-year students majoring in math from Myingyan Degree college, and Kyaw Than Tun, a law student, - and two supporters - Sein Win and Phyu - who participated in the demonstration in Myingyan held on Friday were also filed a case with three sections - Section 143, Section 145 and Section 505 (B). They will be sued on April 10, Township Police Force said.

"We heard that second-year Math-major students - Nyan Myint Than and Sithu Myat were detained. Kyaw Than Tun is known to be a Law-major student (Mandalay). Ma Phyu and U Sein Win were detained while supporting the demonstration. The five people have been charged under Section 143, Section 145 and Section 505 (B) [of the Penal Code] and we have learnt that they will be put on trial on April 10," said Myo Han from the Human Right Defenders (HRD) Myingyan.

Section 18 of the Peaceful Assembly and Procession Law is used to take action on demonstrators who protest without permission. Section 143 of the Penal Code is used in taking actions against the member of an unlawful assembly. Section 145 is used to take actions against whoever joins or continues in an unlawful assembly, knowing that such unlawful assembly has been commanded in the manner prescribed by law to disperse. Section 505 (b) is used to take charge against whoever makes, publishes or circulates any statement, rumour or report with the intent to commit an offence against the State or against the public tranquillity.

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