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Writer Gets Two-Years Hard Labor for Criticizing Religious Extremism

On Tuesday, the Burma government handed down a two year jail sentence to writer, Htin Lin Oo for criticizing religious extremism in a speech.

The Burma Campaign UK in a media statement, urged the British “Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond to pressure the Burmese government to ensure the immediate unconditional release of Htin Lin Oo and the remaining political prisoners in Burma.”

The Burma Campaign UK said that Htin Lin Oo, a former National League of Democracy information officer, was sentenced to two years hard labor for speaking out against the “use of Buddhism to promote discrimination and prejudice at a literary against event in Chaung-U Township in Northern Myanmar.

Htin Lin Oo was arrested in December 2014 after township officials filed a complaint against him. The Burma Campaign UK allege the “NLD removed him from his position as information officer after the criminal charges were filed against him.”

Htin Lin Oo was held in remand for more than six months and is now serving the two-year sentence in Monywa Prison, Northern Burma.

Wai Hnin, campaigns officer for Burma Campaign UK said that, “the Burmese government should be encouraging writers like Htin Lin Oo to promote interfaith tolerance in the country, rather than sending him to jail.”

Wai Hnin said that, “jailing of Htin Lin Oo is an example that people in Burma still get arrested for exercising their freedom of speech. It is time for the British government to step up public and private pressure to make sure that Htin Lin Oo and all remaining political prisoners are released immediately. “

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