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Kyarinnseikgyi Teacher Opposed to Coup, Sentenced to 17 Years-in Jail with Hard Labor

A young teacher who participated in the Civil Disobedient Movement (CDM) given a 17-year jail sentence after he was found guilty of three charges, including terrorism.

Maung Hein Htet Aung, a primary school teacher, who taught at Khok Khwar Village’s Primary School in Kyarinnseikgyi Township, Karen State was sentenced for his involvement with the anti-coup movement.

The authorities filed a lawsuit against Maung Hein Htet Aung on three charges and he was sentenced on 9 March 2022 at Hpa-an District Court.

Friends of Maung Hein Htet Aung are upset at the long prison term.

A close friend of Maung Hein Htet Aung said; “The case was unjustly persecuted, without finding any evidence of his involvement in violence. He pleaded not guilty at the court hearing.”

According to his friend, Maung Hein Htet Aung was arrested and taken to the Hpa-an’s Taungalay prison where 40 people were forced to stay in one cell. His friend said that if they sent food to him, Maung Hein Htet Aung did not receive it.

Teachers and students arrested with Maung Hein Htet Aung also received long prison sentences. Friends of those arrested and who witnessed the accused refusing to wear prison uniforms while being driven to the court – the accused, instead, wore green and white school uniforms and held up three-fingers – the anti-coup protest symbol in court.

A teacher who took part in CDM said; “He [Maung Hein Htet Aung] has done nothing wrong. The military council unjustly arrested and sentenced him. The long prison term for someone who holds nothing more than chalk, shows that there is no justice. We will continue to help and support each other in these difficult times. They [the sentenced] protested peacefully and it is totally unacceptable to punish it with such unjust charges, but we will fight it to the end.”

According to sources close to Maung Hein Htet Aung, he was sentenced to two years in prison for violating Section 505 (a) of the Penal Code, Sections 52 (a) and 50 (i) of the Terrorism Law and sentenced to 17-years with hard labor for the three accounts.

In Karen State, the military-appointed State Administrative Council issued several arrest warrants on CDM staff members who refused to work under military rule. According to CDM members, most civil servants are fleeing the country because of the long prison sentences.

As of March 15, 2022, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), reported, a total of 9,656 people are currently under detention – 844 people have been sentenced in person, of them 45 have been sentenced to death including 2 children.

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