Rakhine min­is­ter warns ALP sup­port­ers from protest­ing court hear­ing

The Myanmar Times - - News - NYAN LYNN AUNG nyan­lin­aung@mm­times.com YI YWEL MYINT news­room@mm­times.com

IN an at­tempt to pre­emp­tively stave-off protests out­side a com­ing hear­ing, Rakhine State of­fi­cials yes­ter­day warned the de­fen­dant’s sup­port­ers that they will be ar­rested and charged should they as­sem­ble out­side the court.

The Rakhine State Min­istry for Bor­der Af­fairs and Se­cu­rity held a press con­fer­ence yes­ter­day ad­dress­ing defama­tion charges filed against an Arakan Lib­er­a­tion Party com­mu­ni­ca­tions of­fi­cer.

Colonel Htein Lin, state min­is­ter for Bor­der Af­fairs and Se­cu­rity, said that the de­tainee’s ar­rest was not forced by the Tat­madaw, who had filed charges against the of­fi­cer in re­la­tion to a re­port de­tail­ing ac­cu­sa­tions of forced por­ter­ing.

U Khine Myo Tun was ar­rested on July 25 for in­cite­ment and defama­tion un­der sec­tions 505(b) and (c) of the pe­nal code.

Col Htein Lin warned the de­fen­dant’s sup­port­ers that they will be charged in ac­cor­dance with the Peace­ful As­sem­bly and Peace­ful Pro­ces­sion Law if they protest the Septem­ber 26 hear­ing with­out ob­tain­ing prior per­mis­sion.

“Legally, they will need per­mis­sion from po­lice. And if they do not ap­ply for per­mis­sion in ac­cor­dance with the Peace­ful As­sem­bly and Peace­ful Pro­ces­sion law, they may be sued,” he said.

The ALP, an eth­nic armed group, is un­der pres­sure to re­tract its al­le­ga­tions of forced por­ter­ing and claims that the Tat­madaw had com­mit­ted war crimes and vi­o­lated the Geneva Con­ven­tion. Col Htein Lin said if the group agrees to re­tract the state­ment, the Tat­madaw will re­con­sider the case.

He de­clined to an­swer whether that meant the ALP com­mu­ni­ca­tions of­fi­cer would be re­leased.

Dur­ing a meet­ing be­tween the ALP and the bor­der af­fairs min­istry in June, Col Htein Lin had made an ini­tial re­quest that the of­fend­ing state­ment be with­drawn or amended. How­ever, the ALP has con­tin­ued to not com­ply and U Khine Myo Htun was ar­rested.

A hear­ing in the case is sched­uled for Septem­ber 26.

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