Veteran Peace Activist Faces Myanmar Junta Charge Over 2015 Ceasefire Deal

By The Irrawaddy 17 February 2022

Ko Mya Aye, a 88 Generation student leader, who has been detained since last year’s coup, has denied Myanmar’s junta charges of incitement over his participation in the 2015 Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA).

A police captain from Mingalar Taung Nyunt Township in Yangon filed a complaint against the veteran activist for alleged violation of Article 505(c) of the Penal Code for emailing a Chinese citizen called Min Thein in 2014 under then-president U Thein Sein’s quasi-civilian government.

If convicted, Ko Mya Aye faces up to two years in prison for making a statement with intent to incite an offense.

Ko Mya Aye’s lawyer said: “No one committed any crime because of Ko Mya Aye. No crimes happened because of him. He has worked for peace throughout his life. He only tried to accomplish tasks assigned to him by the government. He didn’t commit any crime.”

Ko Mya Aye worked for peace with the 88 Generation Peace and Open Society and was a witness for bilateral peace talks between U Thein Sein’s government and the All Burma Students Democratic Front.

Ko Mya Aye submitted documents he signed during the NCA process to the junta court on Tuesday and pleaded not guilty. He said he contacted the Chinese citizen to further the peace process.

He has been held for more than a year. Ko Mya Aye has heart problems. He has received weekly hospital treatment after his leg became infected in prison when he “fell”.

“Blood clotted in his leg and it could have infected his heart. It would have been life-threatening if hospital treatment had been delayed. He fears reinfection because the prison washrooms are dirty. We are constantly worried about his health,” said Ko Mya Aye’s lawyer.

Ko Mya Aye has asked for a speedy trial so he can receive proper hospital treatment. Closing arguments are being submitted on March 1 with a verdict expected later in the month.

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