Burma

Myanmar Regime Jails Mother After Troops Fail to Find Her Activist Sons

By The Irrawaddy 28 May 2021

A military court-martial has jailed Daw Mi Nge, the 64-year-old mother of alleged activists in Yangon, for three years for incitement under Article 505(a) of the Penal Code.

She was beaten and detained earlier this month when junta forces unsuccessfully searched her home in Yangon’s North Okkalapa Township for her activist sons, Ko Tin Htut Paing and his brother, and detained her instead. Martial law was imposed on the township on March 14.

The imposition of martial law meant she was given no legal representation. She was interrogated for several days and then moved to Insein Prison.

After her arrest, her family hired a lawyer, Daw Tin Zar Oo, to represent her, but she was only able to inquire about where she was being held.

“Daw Mi Nge was tried at a special court inside Insein Prison on Friday and sentenced to three years under Article 505(a). As it is a court-martial, the case was heard and the verdict was made on the same day,” said Daw Tin Zar Oo.

“We requested for the power to represent her so she knew she had a lawyer. But we could not meet or talk.”

Since the coup on Feb. 1, the regime has detained 5,446 people, of which 4,331 people were still behind bars on May 27, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.

Regime forces have killed more than 800 civilians.

A total of 1,881 people have been charged with incitement under Article 505(a), which was amended on Feb. 14 by the junta and has become a popular charge used against protesters and striking civil servants.

Like Daw Mi Nge, other activists’ relatives have been detained when junta forces could not find the chief suspect. Those arrested in townships not under martial law are normally allowed to receive legal representation.


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