Police Sue Protest Organizers in Mandalay, Yangon

By D Hline Win 8 May 2018

MANDALAY — Police in Mandalay and Yangon have sued the organizers of weekend protests calling on authorities to immediately rescue villagers in Kachin State who have been trapped for weeks by fighting between the Myanmar military and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA).

On Sunday, activists in Yangon and Mandalay took to the streets calling for an end to the fighting in ethnic areas and the rescue of trapped families displaced by the attacks.

The next day, police in Yangon’s Kyauktada Township filed a lawsuit against the organizers — Kaung Htet Kyaw, Zeya, Ye Aung Aye and Myo Saw — for holding the march without official approval.

The No. 8 police station in Mandalay’s Chanayethazan Township also filed a lawsuit against three activists under Article 19 of the Peaceful Assembly and Procession Law following the protesters’ motorbike ride on Sunday.

“We’ve filed a lawsuit against three people, including Aung Hmine San, for unlawful procession,” Mandalay District Police Lieutenant Colonel Myo Aung told The Irrawaddy.

More than 40 political activists and civil society members protested in Chanayethazan in blue shirts reading “May peace prevail in Myanmar” and holding placards reading “No War,” “Free IDPs” and “Stop attacks in ethnic areas” along with photos of displaced children.

“We organized the campaign in sympathy with our brothers who are in trouble. We have nothing to say if [authorities] call it unlawful and take action against us,” said a demonstrator who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.