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Arakan Villagers Demand Release of Leaders

30 September 2013

Around 500 villagers from Madae Island in Arakan State staged a protest in front of the Kyaukphyu Township courthouse last week to demand the release of 10 community leaders, Narinjara reported on Saturday. The protest started after the community leaders were sentenced to three months in prison for their role in an April 18 demonstration against a Chinese-built pipeline that begins at Madae Island. The villagers had demanded that the Burmese government and the China National Petroleum Corporation, which is operating the pipeline, address problems related to the project. The sentence against the leaders of the earlier protest, which had received official permission, was handed down on Sept. 26.