Appeal Rejected For Jailed Interfaith Activists

By Zarni Mann 7 January 2017

MANDALAY–An appeal submitted to a Mandalay divisional court for two jailed Muslim interfaith activists has been rejected, said the families of the defendants.

Ma Pwint Phyu Latt and Ko Zaw Zaw Latt were sentenced under the colonial-era Unlawful Associations Act in April 2016 and under the Immigration Act in February, which placed them behind bars for total of four years.

“We received news from our lawyer that the appeal to the divisional court was rejected on December 22. Now we are planning to submit another appeal to the central court in Naypyidaw,” said Pwint Phyu Latt’s mother.

Pwint Phyu Latt and Zaw Zaw Latt were arrested for photos shared on Facebook, which were taken during a charity trip to displaced people’s camps in a war-torn area of Kachin State in 2013 and during a visit across the Indo-Burma border to Mizoram State in 2014.

In the pictures, Zaw Zaw Latt posed with an M16 rifle as he met with members of the Kachin Independence Army, an ethnic armed group engaged in a longstanding struggle against the Burma Army.

Both Zaw Zaw Latt and Pwint Phyu Latt once worked for the National League for Democracy, which now heads the civilian-led government, and for which Zaw Zaw Latt was an information officer for the party’s youth department.