Four men in Sagaing division’s Kantbalu township have each been sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment by a district court under arson and vandalism charges, according to local National League for Democracy party chairman Hlaing Myint Han.
Kyaw Naing Oo, Min Lwin, Htun Aung (also known as Aung Gyi) and Khin Maung Htoo (also known as Pho Htoo) were each sentenced to consecutive terms of seven years for arson and two years for vandalism by Shwebo district court on 26 September for their involvement in anti-Muslim riots in Kantbalu’s Htan Gone village on 24 August.
“Apparently they confessed to the charges during an interrogation with absolutely no beating involved,” said Hlaing Myint Han.
On 24 August, angry Buddhist mobs ransacked and burnt down Muslim homes in Htan Gone after rumours spread that a Muslim man had tried to rape a Buddhist woman on her way home from work.
More than 50 homes, one rice mill, one chicken farm and one shop were destroyed in the attacks.
Eleven suspects were initially detained by the police following the riots but one of them died under uncertain circumstances while under police custody. The six others were released in September after police concluded they had no involvement in the incident.
The Muslim man accused of attempting to rape the woman was also jailed for seven years.