Myanmar Junta Sentences NLD Leaders and Activists Ahead of New Year's Eve

By The Irrawaddy 30 December 2021

Ahead of New Year’s Eve, Myanmar’s junta courts have been busily handing down the verdicts to detained National League for Democracy (NLD) government ministers, NLD leaders, artists and student leaders in Yangon, Bago and Magwe regions and Kachin and Shan states.

At least 62 detainees and ousted leaders accused of supporting or participating in the anti-regime protests were sentenced to prison on Thursday.

On Thursday, the junta court in Magwe sentenced the region’s chief minister Dr. Aung Moe Nyo to 18 years in prison on six corruption charges under Article 55 of the Anti-Corruption Law.

He was detained during the Feb. 1 coup and was sentenced in June to two years for incitement for allegedly publishing statements declaring the junta’s State Administrative Council to be unlawful.

Dr. Aung Moe Nyo is well known for his integrity and associates rejected the junta court’s verdicts as trumped-up.

“The charges and verdict against him are ludicrous as he is a modest and a man of the highest integrity,” posted Ko Kyaw Wunna, the secretary of the NLD’s Central Research Committee.

According to lawyers, junta courts also sentenced two other regional ministers and the former speaker of Magwe on the same day.

Their lawyers said they will not appeal.

According to NLD sources in Kachin State, a junta court sentenced the party’s Kachin chairman and two other ousted state ministers.

The detained Shan State minister of planning and finance U Soe Nyunt Lwin was sentenced to 38 years on four charges of incitement, sedition and high treason, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a monitoring group.

The junta court inside Pyay Prison in Bago Region sentenced 40 detainees, including the anti-regime protesters and an ousted NLD lawmaker, to one to three years in prison, mostly for supporting and participating in protests.

In Yangon, the junta’s court inside Insein Prison sentenced NLD central executive committee (CEC) members U Han Tha Myint, U Thein Oo and Dr. Myo Nyunt to two years in prison for sedition.

The three have been detained since the Feb. 1 coup and were charged with sedition under Article 505(b) of the Penal Code. Other CEC members detained at the same time include U Nyan Win, Monywa Aung Shin and U Kyaw Ho.

NLD legal adviser U Nyan Win died in prison in July with COVID-19 and Monywa Aung Shin died in late November shortly after being released from the prison. Another CEC member and legal adviser U Kyaw Ho was sentenced last week.

Verdicts on celebrities and student activists

At least seven celebrities were sentenced to three years in prison for supporting and participating in the anti-regime protests.

They were jailed with labor under Article 505(a) of the Penal Code. They include actress Eaindra Kyaw Zin and actors Pyay Ti Oo and Lu Min.

Lu Min was seized in late February and Eaindra Kyaw Zin and Pyay Ti Oo were detained in April for participating in protests.

Their detention period will be deducted from their jail terms, according to their lawyer.

On Monday the Insein court sentenced the author Daw Than Myint Aung and model Paing Takhon to three years in prison. Paing Takhon was detained in April after appearing on the junta’s list of celebrities wanted for anti-regime activities.

Daw Than Myint Aung, who was also a member of the Yangon Region municipal government, was detained on Feb. 1 and held at the regime’s interrogation center in the city for a month, before being sent to Insein. She was sentenced to three years in prison with labor for alleged incitement under Article 505(a) of the Penal Code.

This week the junta courts also handed down verdicts on student leaders who were detained for anti-regime protests with minimum sentences of two years.

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