Three Striking Teachers Jailed by Myanmar Junta

By The Irrawaddy 15 June 2021

Three striking teachers in Myeik Township, Tanintharyi Region, were each sentenced on Monday to three years in prison for incitement for participating in the civil disobedience movement (CDM) against the regime.

Daw Nay Chi Htwe and Daw Chit Myat Thu were detained together at their home on March 31 and charged with Article 505(a) of the Penal Code for allegedly lobbying other staff on social media to join the CDM. The teachers, who are related, were beaten during the arrest.

U Nyein Chan Oo, a high-school teacher, was detained in early April in Myeik, on the same charge.

High-school teacher U Nyein Chan Oo.

The three were held in Myeik Prison and sentenced on Monday, a member of the basic education teachers’ union in Tanintharyi Region said.

“They were sentenced for expressing their views peacefully by joining the CDM,” the member said.

Many civil servants have been on strike since the Feb. 1 coup, refusing to work under military rule.

Striking teachers have been jailed across the country and many have been officially suspended.

In Tanintharyi Region, 7,236 striking educators and administrative staff were removed from their duties, according to the regional teachers’ union.

Seven arrests have been made.

Hundreds of striking Tanintharyi teachers went into hiding to evade arrest in May when the regime threatened them with arrest if they failed to return to work when the schools reopened.

“Several schools can’t open as a majority of teachers went on strike. Only very few schools could open and less than a quarter of pupils have returned,” a Tanintharyi teacher said.

The junta opened public schools on June 1 amid efforts to normalize the country but attendances have been very low nationwide.

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