Burma Campaign UK, a prominent rights advocacy group, has accused the President of Burma, U Thein Sein, of keeping hundreds of political prisoners in jail despite his claims of democratic reform and liberalising the country’s political system.
The group has highlighted the case of two leading rights activists as symbolic of the tenuous human rights situation in Burma despite the government’s talk of reform.
The two, Khin Mi Mi Khaing and Myint Myint Aye, are leaders of independent women’s networks in Burma. In June, they visited Pae Ma Khan village in Bago Division to show their support to farmers who ploughed land that had been confiscated by the Burma Army almost two decades ago.
The day after the demonstration, they were asked to meet the head of the local authority from Nattalin Township in Bago Division and on their arrival, they were arrested and taken to Nattalin Court by the police.
Burma Campaign UK claimed that Khin Mi Mi Khaing and Myint Myint Aye were falsely accused of participating in illegal associations, and recruiting new members into their associations. They were charged under Section 6 for violating the Unlawful Association Act and failing to register their social networks with the Burma’s government.
They two activists were denied bail and sent to Paungde Prison. Burma Campaign UK reported that their family members were worried about their health because Khin Mi Mi Khaing has suffered from hypertension and Myint Myint Aye suffered from mild stroke last year. Their trials are ongoing at Nattalin Court.