Social network leaders sent to jail in Arakan


( Taungup, 14 September 2013) : Three community leaders from Taungup township of Arakan
province in western Burma were convicted by the Taungup township court for their involvement in a protest program against the government’s housing policy for the Muslim community.

The court sentenced Ko Soe Win, Ko Thann Lwin Soe and Ko Min, all are known social network leaders, to three months of imprisonment on Friday, informed a local leader of National League for Democracy.

The court pronounced the verdict under the Act 18 related to the cases of procession, said U Khin Hla from Taungup Thaownhsip  NLD over the telephone to Narinjara News.

Soon after the verdict, the authority had sent all three convicted social network leaders to Thandwe district prison through police vehicles in order to avoid any untoward incident in the locality.

According to a local source, around 200 people gathered in front of the court to hear the verdict following which the authority had deployed extra police forces in the court premises.

Mentionable is that there was a protest demonstration held on 27 March in Taungup to raise voices against the government’s housing plan for Muslim refugees, who were displaced from their villages during the sectarian violence that broke out in Arakan last year.

The protestors demanded that the authority should scrutinize the beneficiaries whether they were genuine Burmese citizens or not accordance with 1982 citizenship law before providing them the permanent shelters.

The authority also punished four community leaders from Kyauk Taw namely Daw Ma Hla May, U Maung Win, Daw Tin Tin Aye and U Maung Thein Hlaing on Wednesday with three months imprisonment for similar charges as they participated in the protest in Kyauk Taw locality on 7 March 2013.