10 Student Activists Face New Charge, a Year After Protest

By San Yamin Aung 27 January 2016

RANGOON — Police in Rangoon’s Thanlyin Township have opened a case against several students under Burma’s controversial protest Law for organizing demonstrations against the country’s National Education Law more than a year ago.

Po Po, one of the student activists, told The Irrawaddy on Wednesday that she received a letter from police alleging that she, Min Thway Thit, Ye Min Oo, Tin Tin Khine and six others had staged a protest without permission on Aug. 28, 2014, at Rangoon Eastern University.

The letter said the 10 student activists were being charged accordingly under Article 18 of the Peaceful Assembly Law, which requires anyone wishing to hold a public protest to acquire permission from local authorities prior to the event.

“The police summoned us to the Thanlyin Central Police Station for questioning by Jan. 29,” Po Po said.

In addition to Article 18, Po Po was charged under articles 143, 145, 147 and 505(b) of Burma’s Penal Code by a Kamayut Township court last year for participating in a protest against the excessive use of police force to disperse students during a separate demonstration.

A brutal crackdown by baton-wielding police on peaceful student protesters at an education reform rally in Letpadan, Pegu Division, on March 10 led to the arrest of more than 100 demonstrators.

Fifty-three students and their supporters have since been detained in Pegu Division’s Thayarwaddy Prison awaiting trial, while more than a dozen others have been released on bail.