63 Arakanese Sentenced to 6 months Imprisonment for Breaking Section 144

Sittwe: 63 Arakanese have been sentenced to six months in prison for breaking section 144. The law was imposed by the authority after sectarian violence took place in Arakan in June 2012.

Rakhine state chief justice U Hla Thein told media recently that there are  63 Arakanese Buddhists who have been sentenced to 6 months in prison by the Sittwe township court.
The Sittwe township court has passed 23 cases for 63 people charged with lawsuits under section 188, which is related to section 144 abuses.

The authority has arrested 63 people from some townships in Arakan state including Sittwe and Kyauk Taw for breaking the curfew imposed under section 144.

The curfew under section 144 was imposed in Sittwe, Maungdaw, Buthidaung, Rathidaung, Kyauuk Pru and Kyauk Taw soon after a state of emergency was declared by President U Thein Sein.

The Chief justice said that all those who were sentenced are Arakanese Buddhists, not Bengali Muslims.

According to the government, there has not been any individuals from Muslim communities detained in Sittwe, but over 700 Muslims have been detained in the two bordering towns of Maungdaw and Buthidaung due to unrest in the area.

Some of the 63 people sentenced to 6 months are from rural area of Arakan who came to Sittwe to look after patients in the Sittwe hospital.

Thirteen people await sentencing in the Southern district town Thandwe. They have been charged under section 188.
The Section 144 curfew remains in Sittwe but was recently reduced to two hours from twelve by the authority.