Released Graffiti Students Barred From University Reenrollment

By Zarni Mann 24 December 2015

MANDALAY — Three students released from Mandalay’s Obo Prison on Tuesday morning, after serving several months in jail for spraying anti-government slogans, have been barred from reenrolling at their university on account of their actions.

Naing Ye Wai, Aung San Oo, Jit Tu and Nyan Lin Htet, all four students of Mandalay’s Yadanabon University, were arrested in July after spray-painting messages calling on the government to resign and demanding the release of students and their supporters detained during the nationwide demonstrations against the National Education Law earlier this year.

The four were found guilty of unlawful assembly and incitement charges and sentenced to six months’ imprisonment. The three students released on Tuesday had their sentences reduced by a week for good behavior.

Naing Ye Wai, president of the Yadanabon University Student Union, is serving an additional three months and remains in prison.

Aung San Oo, Jit Tu and Nyan Lin Htet went to their university on Thursday to reenroll and continue the courses that had been interrupted by their jailing. However, they were advised they could not do so but could only pursue avenues of appeal.

“The registrar said we needed to submit an appeal and would have to humbly ask permission to attend the school again, which we didn’t agree to,” Aung San Oo, a final year physics student of Yadanabon University, told The Irrawaddy.

He said their prison sentences had been served and they had the right to continue their education.

“We told them we will not submit an appeal and it is not needed. If we do not receive a response from the university by Monday, we will do whatever we can for our right to education,” he said.

The students’ parents have also expressed dissatisfaction over the university’s stance.

“In other countries, even inmates have the right to enter university exams with distance learning. But in this country, all our rights and those of our children are abused,” said the father of Aung San Oo.