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Six activists who participated in a protest in Rangoon last year against the Latpadaung copper mine project were each sentenced to one month in prison with labour on Thursday by Kyimyindaing township court.
The six – Generation Wave’s Moe Thway; 2007 Generation All Burma Federation of Student Unions leader D Nyein Linn; Aung Myo Oo; Myint Kyaw Oo; Soe Moe Htun; and Thandar – were charged by townships courts in Rangoon’s Kyimyindaing, Sanchaung and Ahlone townships for demonstrating publicly in those districts without official permission on 2 December 2012.
Zaw Min, the father of D Nyein Linn and a member of the 88 Generation Peace and Open Society, criticised the court’s decision to hand down such a harsh prison sentence rather than fining the six activists.
“Article 18 [the Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession Law] is a new legislation adopted by the current government,” he said. “It is a new law but it is practiced under an old legal system.
Quoting a Burmese proverb, Zaw Min said, “Making a big case smaller and making a smaller case disappear – but in this instance, they are making a small case much bigger.”
The six activists are still awaiting verdicts from Sanchaung and Ahlone township courts.
Min Thu Aung, the younger brother of D Nyein Linn, expressed concern for his brother amid rumours that he could also be made to serve the remaining 10 and half years of a jail term which was suspended under an amnesty.