Court keeps treason cases vs leg­is­la­tor, au­thor

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - CHAN THAR chan­thar@mm­

A Rakhine town­ship court has main­tained a “high treason” charge against Lower House leg­is­la­tor U Aye Maung and au­thor Win Hing Aung for al­legedly in­cit­ing un­rest.

A COURT in Sit­twe town­ship, Rakhine State, on Mon­day dropped a charge of un­law­ful as­so­ci­a­tion against a politi­cian and an au­thor but main­tained a high treason charge against them for al­legedly in­cit­ing peo­ple to op­pose the gov­ern­ment.

The court found prob­a­ble cause to con­tinue the trial of Rakhine po­lit­i­cal leader U Aye Maung and au­thor Wai Hin Aung for “high treason” and in­cite­ment un­der Sec­tions 121 and 505 of the Pe­nal Code.

The duo was ar­rested for al­legedly mak­ing in­flam­ma­tory speeches dur­ing a fo­rum in Rathedaung town­ship in Rakhine on Jan­uary 15.

U Aye Maung was ar­rested at his home in Sit­twe on Jan­uary 18, while U Wai Hin Aung was ar­rested a day ear­lier.

The leg­is­la­tor de­nounced the court’s de­ci­sion and said they will ap­peal the charges to a higher court.

“Although we have noth­ing, not even a tooth­pick, we have been charged with high treason” said U Aye Maung, leader of the Arakan Na­tional Party.

“We did not com­mit a crime, but we are be­ing charged. It means the ju­di­ciary sys­tem is out of whack,” said Wai Hin Aung.

Daw Aye Nu Sein, the lawyer of Wai Hin Aung, said they will ap­peal the de­ci­sion to the state court.

The Rakhine gov­ern­ment filed three charges, in­clud­ing high treason, against U Aye Maung and Wai Hin Aung for al­legedly de­fam­ing the state dur­ing a lit­er­ary talk in Rathedaung to mark the 233rd an­niver­sary of the fall of the Rakhine kingdom.

The po­lice filed the case against them for speech that al­legedly “caused dishar­mony among na­tional races.”

Photo: EPA

U Aye Maung, Ann town­ship MP and Arakan Na­tional Party leader (cen­tre), talks to the me­dia while be­ing es­corted out of court by po­lice af­ter a hear­ing in Sit­twe on Au­gust 13.

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