Myanmar Professor Jailed for Three Years for Leading Anti-Coup Protest

By The Irrawaddy 20 January 2022

A Yangon University professor who led a strike by university staff in response to the military takeover last year was sentenced to three years in prison by a junta court Wednesday, according to the Yangon University Students’ Union.

Dr. Akar Moe Thu, an oriental studies professor at Yangon University, was arrested at gunpoint by two men in civilian clothes on March 2 last year while organizing an anti-coup demonstration by university teachers at MICT Park in Yangon’s Hline Township.

He was charged under Section 505 (a) of the Penal Code for incitement and sentenced to three years’ imprisonment after 11 months in detention.

Among university academics the professor was one of the leaders of the Civil Disobedience Movement against the military coup. He is also the founder of the University Teachers’ Association.

The military regime has suspended more than 120,000 striking teachers from their positions and issued arrest warrants for 14 professors, associate professors and lecturers from six universities, including Yangon University, who allegedly led the university teachers’ strike.

The regime has also jailed a number of striking teachers alleging they have links to the parallel National Unity Government and its armed wing, the People’s Defense Force, both of which the military has labeled as terrorist organizations.

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