Myanmar Protest Leader Gets Extra 20 Years in Jail for High Treason

By The Irrawaddy 19 May 2023

Jailed anti-junta protest leader Ko Wai Moe Naing was found guilty of high treason on Friday and sentenced to an additional 20 years by a junta court on Friday, taking his total sentence to 54 years.

The 28-year-old pro-democracy activist was violently arrested on April 15, 2021, when junta troops rammed him with a car as he led a motorbike protest in Monywa, Sagaing Region.

Ko Wai Moe Naing has faced 10 charges, including sedition, unlawful assembly, abduction with the intent to murder, murder and treason, for his role in Monywa’s protests after the February 1 coup. The junta sentenced him to 34 years in prison under eight charges.

The Monywa Prison court on Friday used Article 122 of the Penal Code to add 20 years to his sentence for high treason.

A source said Ko Wai Moe Naing saw his mother for a few minutes and was in good health.

Monywa People’s Strike Committee denounced the sentence and called for the release of all political prisoners.

“Regime leader Min Aung Hlaing and his fellow junta leaders are the only people to have committed high treason,” the committee said on Friday.

Ko Wai Moe Naing, a former student union leader and committee member, has been held in Monywa Prison since his arrest.

He also faces another murder charge in relation to the killing of two police officers.

Since the 2021 coup, more than 3,500 people have been killed and over 22,400 people have been incarcerated with around 18,000 still behind bars, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.