August 16, 2018
Although the court had previously stated that it would decide on whether charges should be filed against eight youth detainees from Mrauk U in the 18th court hearing on August 13, no ruling has been made in reality.
“[The lawyers] were supposed to submit their arguments on whether the charges should be filed today, but they couldn’t submit them. [The judge] said the examination of some witnesses isn’t valid. That’s why the ruling hasn’t been made yet since the persecution witnesses are still being re-examined,” said Maung Kyaw Min Soe, one of the detainees.
In the last court hearing, the judge said he would rule next week since all the persecution witnesses had been examined.
The detainees said the court is delaying the case by not setting down the ruling.
“Our health conditions are still bad. We have backache. We have received many gunshot wounds. I can’t bend my hand which has been shot. I also have many gunshot wounds in my waist,” said two teenagers who received gunshot wounds.
They expressed their desire to seek medical treatment from outside.
Among the eight detainees, two of them are still walking with crutches.
“I can’t walk without my crutches. We were told that we can get surgeries at the hospital from outside at the end of this month. We are living and eat well inside the prison,” said a detainee who has to walk with clutches.
Local residents who came to attend the public talk to commemorate the 233rd anniversary of the fall of the Rakhine kingdom staged a protest in Mrauk U on January 16 after local authorities banned it at short notice. Seven people died and 12 people became injured after the police opened fire on the crowd.
Among the injured, four people who were receiving medical treatment in Mrauk U Hospital fled and eight people who were receiving medical treatment in Sittwe Hospital for serious injuries were arrested and charged under Section 6 (1) for destroying public property and detained in Sittwe Prison.