Wed 9 Jan 2008
Filed under: Inside Burma,News
In a continuous crackdown, authorities in western Burma’s Arakan state have sentenced 13 political activists, arrested for their involvement in the September monk-led protests, dissidents said.
Ofthe 13 arrested – six monks, a university student, three National League for Democracy party members and three civilians – have been charged under various articles including frightening the people, disrespectful action against the government, inciting public riot, involvement in undesired public protests, beating, swearing, associating with unlawful organizations, and destroying public properties.
Thein Hlaing, secretary of the Arakan state NLD, said, “The latest information that we received is that there are six monks and seven civilians. While some of them have been sentenced under various charges, some are still kept at interrogation centres.”
Among the six detained monks, U Kitharihya from Sittwe’s Seikthathukhah monastery was arrested on September 29, 2007 and is charged under article 143, 505 (b) and 6. Sources said, the monk was sentenced to seven years and six months in prison and is now kept at Buthitaung prison.
Sixty seven year old U Kawmala, another monk from Sittwe town’s Adithan monastery, was arrested on October 14, 2007 and is charged under article 143 and 295 and sentenced to 2 years and 6 months, sources said. The monk is currently detained at Sittwe prison.
While U Wunnathiri ( 23) from Sittwe town’s Yadanabonmyay monastery, was arrested on September 29, 2007 and sentenced to 3 years in Sittwe prison, the other three monks, who were arrested in November, 2007 have been detained at Sittwe interrogation camp, the source said.
Sources in Arakan state NLD said, while party secretary Khin Hla was sentenced to 4 years, party treasurer Min Aung is sentenced to two and half years in prison.
Another party member, Ye Thein, was arrested on September 2 but released on September 5, 2007. However, he was re-arrested on Noveber 19, 2007 and was sent to lunatic asylum in Rangoon, sources said.
Meanwhile, authorities continue to detained a final year Master of Arts (Economics) student, Ye Min Oo, who was arrested in October, in Rangoon’s notorious Insein interrogation centre. But activist Aung Naing Soe, who was also arrested in October, was charged under article 505 (b), and 143 and is sentenced to three years and nine months in jail in Thandwe prison in Arakan state.
Two other civilians, Aung Naing and win Maung, who were arrested in October, were sentenced to 2 years and 3 months, and 2 years and 6 months respectively, said the source adding that Aung Naing is detained in Sittwe prison while Win Maung is continued to be detained in Maan Aung police station.