Latpadaung protestor hit with charges for demonstrating without permission

Latpadaung protestor hit with charges for demonstrating without permission

Authorities in Sagaing division’s Monywa charged protest organiser Naw Ohn Hla for demonstrating without permission after she was arrested earlier this week.

On Wednesday, the activist was reportedly charged under the peaceful procession and peaceful assembly law, which stipulates that demonstrators must file for permission five days in advance of the event and applications can be rejected at the authorities’ discretion.

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On Tuesday, about 50 locals, including Naw Ohn Hla, staged a demonstration in Monywa calling for the suspension of the controversial Latpadaung copper mine and demanded that authorities expose the police officers responsible for violently assaulting a protest camp last November.

The group also called on authorities to amend the 2008 military-backed constitution and urged President Office’s Minister Hla Htun to step down as the chairman of the Committee to Implement Recommendations made by the Latpadaung Investigation Commission.

Naw Ohn Hla and nine other were arrested for protesting without permission and taken to Monywa Police Stations as angry locals gathered in front of the station demanding their release.

Around 9pm on Tuesday evening, authorities released the nine protesters arrested earlier in the day, while Naw Ohn Hla remained behind bars in the Monywa jail.

Naw Ohn Hla is regarded as a veteran protest leader in the country and is known for leading weekly ‘prayer demonstrations’ at Shwedagon pagoda starting in 2004 and was later arrested for participating in the 2007 Saffron Revolution.

The activist has now throw her weight behind locals displaced by the Latpadaung copper mine that is responsible for the confiscation of about 7,800 acres of farmland in total and forcefully relocated farmers from 66 villages.

 

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