Solo demonstrator sentenced for Tharawaddy protest

Solo demonstrator sentenced for Tharawaddy protest

A solo demonstrator demanding the release of student activists has been sentenced to two years in prison for sedition.

Win Hlaing, a Prome [Pyay] town resident, was arrested on 25 May for protesting outside the Tharawaddy courthouse and in his home town, calling for the release of students and activists incarcerated in Tharawaddy prison for taking part in the Letpadan education protests two months earlier.

He was charged with multiple counts of holding unlawful rallies under The Right to Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession Act, which mandates a maximum sentence of one year in prison for each offense.

After the verdict hearing on Wednesday, Win Hlaing spoke briefly to reporters, insisting that his sentence was unfair.

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“I practiced my constitutional right by staging a protest outside of the Tharawaddy courthouse, wearing a t-shirt with the slogan ‘Thein Sein is above the law, and above Thein Sein is hell’ and I got jailed for it,” he said.

“This shows that there is no rule of law in our country.”

Win Hlain had previously been sentenced by Tharawaddy court to six months in prison for two counts of unlawful assembly, and fined 30,000 kyat (US$30) for three additional incidents of the same offense. He is currently facing nine further charges at the Prome township court for holding illegal protests.

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