Court decides to charge Dr Aye Maung and Wai Hin Aung with high treason

Narinjara News: 10-9- 2018

By  San Maung Than

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Sittwe District Judge Daw Mya Aye has decided on September 10 to charge Dr Aye Maung and writer Wai Hin Aung with high treason and public mischief after dropping the charge for unlawful association.

Concerning the decision, Dr Aye Maung criticized that he has been charged with high treason even though he did not even have a toothpick.

“The point is [to accuse us] of waging a war against the Union. We don’t even have a toothpick,” Dr Aye Maung told reporters as he left the court.

Dr Aye Maung and writer Wai Hin Aung were initially charged with high treason under Section 122 and conducting public mischief under Section 505 (b) of the Penal Code and Section 17 (1) of the Unlawful Associations Act at Sittwe District Court and Sittwe Township Court for giving speeches at the ceremony marking the fall of the Rakhine kingdom in Rathedaung.

“Charges were not filed under Section 17 (1). Charges have been filed under the remaining charges. We will clear up these two charges. We are consulting our lawyers,” Dr Aye Maung continued.

Ceremonies marking the fall of the Rakhine kingdom have been held since the previous U Thein Sein administration and Dr Aye Maung gave his speech as he believed the civilian government, which will march towards a federal democratic union, would allow a politician and Hluttaw MP to do so in the period of re-establishing the union, he claimed.

“I want to comment that there are more hard-line views than the previous U Thein Sein administration. U Thein Sein administration had shrewdness. You can say it was half military. In our opinion, U Thein Sein administration initiated the transition to federal [system]. He has done many things. He addressed the public every month to explain what’s happening in the country” said Dr Aye Maung.

“There may be an organization that can conquer us. There may also be another organization that can conquer this organization. This is the law of nature. We want [to change] from an authoritative era to a democratic era,” he pointed out.

National reconciliation cannot be achieved by making small cases big instead of making big cases small and the government’s image can be affected by banning freedom of expression, he claimed.

The persecution witnesses – Ko Soe Naing and two police officers – testified in the court that the words used by Dr Aye Maung in his speech were different from the words that were submitted to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi by the Rakhine State Chief Minister U Nyi Pu and the ones used in the press conference, according to Dr Aye Maung.

“My concern is on whether charges have been pressed because the case has been submitted to the President and filed directly to the court. If so, the public will start doubting the independent judiciary. That’s why I want it to be unbiased. I want it to be an independent judiciary. What I mean by bias is that [I want to question] whether the charges have been pressed because they were filed by the government and the case was submitted to the President,” he said.

The two men have been charged for allegedly giving inflammatory speeches to draw the public’s interest with the intention to make the government’s mechanism sway and bring it down.

“Dr Aye Maung did not talk about committing treason or establishing a separate country. He was talking in accordance with the federal principle and federal path. I don’t believe his speech violated both Section 505 and 122,” advocate lawyer U Kyaw Nyunt Maung, who has been defending Dr Aye Maung, said to the reporters.

Section 22 of the 1973 Interpretation of Expressions Law states that many charges cannot be pressed based on a single subject.

“The charges were pressed based on the speech given by Dr Aye Maung in the CD. It’s very wrong to press two criminal charges based on a single subject,” said lawyer U Kyaw Nyunt Maung.

The next court hearing for Dr Aye Maung and writer Wai Hin Aung’s case has been scheduled for September 14 and the defendants will be examined on September 17.

Advocate lawyer U Kyaw Nyunt Maung said Dr Aye Maung has no desire to appeal to a higher court.

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