Three people including a local village official were jailed on Wednesday in Arakan State’s Kyaukphyu Township for alleged connections with the rebel group Arakan Army.
The three – Maung Aye of Kyaukphyu, Tun That Phyu of Pauktaw, and Zaw Win Maung of Ponnakyun – were found guilty under Article 17(1) of the Unlawful Association Act by Kyaukphyu township court. Maung Aye was sentenced to two years in prison, while the other two were given three years each. Time already served in detention while on trial will be commuted from their terms, said their lawyer Tin Myint.
“They were arrested and prosecuted by the Military Affairs Security [MAS]. I don’t want to comment on the verdict,” said Tin Myint.
“There are five defense lawyers in the case, so I will discuss options for an appeal with the others.”
The three were arrested at Maung Aye’s home in Kyaukphyu’s Leikhamaw village by the MAS on 21 January this year.
Dozens of others, suspected of being Arakan Army rebels or its supporters, were rounded up in May, and detained on similar charges.
The Arakan Army along with allies the Ta’ang National Liberation Army and the Kokang-based Myanmar Nationalities Democratic Alliance Army were excluded from recent peace talks as clashes between the ethnic militias and Burmese government forces are ongoing.