Karen Youth Jailed for Banging Pots and Pans

A Karen youth from Hlaing Bwe Town, Karen State, was sentenced for seven days for banging pots and pans. The pot banging is in protest by the civil disobedience movement against the military coup in Burma.

Like many Burma civilians across the country, Sa Aung Moe Hein joined the civil disobedience movement by banging pots and pans on the fourth day after the Burma military took power on the 1st of February. A friend of the accused, spoke to Karen News (on condition of anonymity), said police in Hlaing Bwe used the one-off event was against Sa Aung Moe Hein to arrest him and and he was later sentenced to seven days on the 16th of February. Sa Aung Moe Hein’s friend explained the events leading to his sentencing.

“On the 5th of February he was arrested by police. He was taken to the police station and later released with a signed agreement. Ten days later he got a phone call from the police, who said that they have submitted the case, and he must go to court and sign some papers. He went to Hlaing Bwe court, was told to give his signature, and as soon as he came out was taken to Hpa-an’s Taung K’lay prison.”

A local resident said it could be assumed the decision was made after Sa Aung Moe Hein signed an agreement that he would no longer bang pots and pans. Local people said being sent to prison for a week was unfair.

“In order to get a clearer picture, we have asked police for the relevant papers and documents, but they haven’t provided them. They filed the case and that should have been the end of it when he signed the agreement. I think police here are pretending to do their job by arresting someone engaged in this activity – the entire town are banging pots and pans, but police don’t seem bothered.”

Sa Aung Moe Hein was the only person charged and sentenced for banging pots in Hlaing Bwe town on 5th February – many others joined in.

Sa Aung Moe Hein is serving his sentence in Taung K’lay prison. Sa Aung Moe Hein, 22, works as an IT technical support person for the Hlaing Bwe Youth Network. The group is known to be advocating for the development of federalism in Burma.

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