25 September 2018
The Sittwe Township Court has obtained travel remand to file new charges against eight Rakhine youths after giving them an eight-month sentence yesterday (September 24), according to their lawyer U Tun Aung Kyaw.
“We heard that a travel remand has been obtained for them. We learned that they are being detained at Sittwe No. 1 Police Station now,” U Tun Aung Kyaw said yesterday.
Although the eight youths were expected to be released yesterday since they have already served time on remand, they were taken back in custody and Mrauk U Township Administrator and the Sittwe Township Court have obtained travel remand, he continued.
“It doesn’t make sense to charge them again,” said Daw Aye Nu Sein, who is also defending the eight youths.
U Tun Aung Kyaw said the situation of the eight youths, who were released after spending eight months in custody, needs to be monitored and it is unfair to file additional charges against them after their release.
The eight youths were arrested during the police crackdown in Mrauk U in January.
They were charged under Section 6 (1) of the Public Property Protection Act for destroying public property and given an eight-month sentence after admitting to their crimes.
“They were charged with Section 6 (1) of the Public Property Protection Act. But, evidence couldn’t be found for their crime when 11 plaintiff witnesses were examined [in the court]. However, they were included among a mob of 4,000-5,000 who protested without permission. They were in the group that violated the law. That’s why they were wounded. When they were charged with Section 145 of the Penal Code, they were asked whether or not they were guilty. They admitted that they received injuries due to their involvement [in the protest] but they didn’t do anything. So, they were given an eight-month sentence. Since they have already served time on remand, they were released today (September 24),” said Daw Aye Nu Sein.
The eight youths are Kyaw Win Naing, Kyaw Min Soe, U Than Zaw, Aung Kyaw Myint, Shwe Maung, Aung Htay, Tun Kyaw Hein, and Kyaw Kyaw Naing from Mrauk U Township.
They were arrested for damaging the building and furniture in the Mrauk U District General Administration office during the protest on the night of January 16.