The wife and daughter of an anti-regime protest leader in Mogoke, Mandalay Region, have been sentenced to three years’ imprisonment for incitement by a prison court.
Law student Ma Theint Sandi Soe, 19, her mother Daw Kyi Kyi Khaing, 40, and her five-year-old daughter, Su Htet Wyne, were detained on June 13 after the security forces failed to find her father, U Soe Htay.
Su Htet Wyne had her fifth birthday in custody and was released on June 30, when the regime freed around 2,000 detainees. The father and Su Htet Wyne are now reunited.
The family said the two women were accused of violating Article 505(a) of the Penal Code for allegedly inciting riots. Their verdicts were reportedly handed down by the Mogoke Prison court.
U Soe Htay was informed on Tuesday that his wife told others about the prison sentences while she was on a prison truck.
“She shouted from inside the truck that they both were sentenced for three years,” U Soe Htay told The Irrawaddy on Wednesday.
“Since their arrest last month, the authorities have told the family nothing about them and we have no information. My daughter is in ill health. I thank the community leaders who have helped send her medicines.”
He said Ma Theint Sandi Soe has rheumatoid arthritis, meaning she is sensitive to the cold and needs regular medical care and medicines.
U Soe Htay, a striking school teacher, is on the wanted list in Mogoke for incitement for organizing protests. He and his two sons were not at home when the junta forces raided as they had gone into hiding.
According to a lawyers’ network in Mandalay, many lawyers providing legal assistance in Mogoke also face warrants for incitement and are in hiding, meaning that finding legal representation for detained protesters is becoming more difficult. A lawyer in Mandalay said quick rulings were to be expected in Mogoke because of the lack of lawyers.
U Soe Htay said his wife and daughter had taken part in protests against the junta. “As long as the military tries to rule with violence, our resistance will continue. We have many families whose loved ones cannot return home. Our leaders, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and President U Win Myint, are behind bars. Our family is divided but we are not alone,” he said.
Ma Theint Sandi Soe and Daw Kyi Kyi Khaing are among around 100 people who have been detained after the security forces failed to find their target. Protesters, student union members, National League for Democracy members, journalists and striking civil servants all face arrest warrants, according to the advocacy group the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.
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