Life imprisonment for Man Nyein Maung politically improper: A prominent lawyer

Dhaka: Sentencing Phado Man Nyein Maung, a central committee member of the Karen National Union, to life imprisonment is not in accord with present politics, said a well-known lawyer U Aung Thein.

“Peace is now at arm’s length and it is quite unseemly to sentence Man Nyein Maung who is a central committee member of the KNU to life imprisonment, and this should not be done to him in this political situation. I think his imprisonment may cause some hindrance to the peace process”, said U Aung Thein.

He also said the present political situation should take precedence rather than the enacted laws in the case of Phado Man Nyein Maung.

“I have nothing to say about the law because he is a central committee member of the KNU that has been fighting against the central government all through the ages and he is entangled with the state’s laws, but in the present day while political changes are taking shape, the harsh punishment on Man Nyein Maung may hurt the peace process in the country a great deal”, he said.

Phado Man Nyein Maung was sentenced to 3 year imprisonment due to section 17(1) communication with an illegal organization in addition to the life-term imprisonment on section 122(1) of high treason by Rangoon’s Northern District Court, one of the special courts of Insein Prison on the 13th of March (Burma’s Human Rights Day).

He was arrested at Kunming Airport in China and handed over to Burma in July last year and sentenced to six months in prison on the immigration act 13(1). He is now sentenced to life imprisonment after he was sued on charges of connection with an illegal organization and high treason on the day he was about to be released with the recent presidential amnesty.

This is the second time Phado Man Nyein Maung has been punished to life imprisonment on charges of treason. He faced the similar punishment during the reign of the U Nu-led former parliamentary democracy government as well.