32 Anti-Regime Protesters Charged with Incitement in Upper Myanmar

By The Irrawaddy 17 March 2021

Yangon — A court in Monywa Township, Sagaing Region, on Monday heard the case of 32 anti-regime protesters who were detained on Feb. 27 and charged them under Article 505(a) of the Penal Code for incitement, according to the Monywa District Lawyers’ Network.

The court hearing was held via video conferencing. A Monywa police major filed a lawsuit against 32 protesters, including two females, with the township court.

The next court hearing will take place on March 25. One of the 32 protesters is a minor and was charged separately, said the network. All the detainees are reportedly in good health.

Police have so far detained 76 people in connection with the protests in Monywa, according to the network.

“We will make sure all detainees get their full legal rights,” said a member of the network.

Article 505(a) was amended by the military regime to toughen sentencing to three years for causing fear, spreading false news or agitating against government employees.

Monywa residents took to the streets in early February with daily protests continuing, despite casualties and detentions. Ten civilians have so far been killed in Monywa by the security forces.

“[The security forces] are making it difficult for protesters to march. But the marches that started on Feb. 7 continue every day. If they block a ward, we march elsewhere,” said Ko Wai Moe Naing, a leading member of the Monywa general strike committee, who took part in a march on Tuesday.

The military’s violent crackdown means they are desperate, he said. “Though there are discouraging posts on Facebook, on the ground they are struggling to stop us. Government employees who have joined the civil disobedience government have not returned to their offices. We still believe we will win this fight,” said Ko Wai Moe Naing.

Thousands of Monywa residents took to the streets on Wednesday.

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