Activist-Turned-Candidate in 2015 Poll Gets 1-Year Prison Term

By Zarni Mann 31 March 2016

A court in Rangoon’s Dagon Township on Thursday sentenced Myat Nu Khaing, an independent candidate in November’s general election, to one year in prison with hard labor.

Myat Nu Khaing was contesting a Lower House seat in Pegu Division’s Phyu Township when she was arrested on Oct. 16. She was presented to a court in Dagon Township and charged for her participation in a peaceful protest on Dec. 29, 2014.

“The court ruled that she is guilty for following unlawful protesters, according to Article 147 of Burma’s Penal Code, and sentenced her to one year’s imprisonment with hard labor. Because she’s already been detained in Insein Prison for about five months, she will need to stay behind bars for another seven months,” said Than Zaw Aung, Myat Nu Khaing’s lawyer.

Than Zaw Aung said the court dismissed charges for protesting without permission under Article 18 of the Peaceful Assembly Law and articles 353 and 505(b) of the Penal Code.

The protest at issue involved some 100 people marching to the Chinese Embassy in Rangoon to honor Khin Win, a woman who had been shot dead during a protest against the controversial, Chinese-backed copper mining in Letpadaung, Sagaing Division. Several other activists were also arrested after a clash with police, with some sentenced to four years in prison.