A Myitkyina Prison court sentenced former Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC) chairperson Hkalam Samson to a total of six years in prison on April 7. “The court gave him two years under Section 17(1), one year under Section 505(A) and three years for Section 52(A),” said Daung Nan, Samson’s lawyer. Samson was convicted of violating the Unlawful Associations Act and the Counter-Terrorism Law for allegedly meeting with the leaders of the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) and the National Unity Government (NUG) in Laiza, Kachin State.
Samson was also convicted of violating the penal code for a speech he gave in 2022 that allegedly defamed the state. He was arrested at Myitkyina Airport in December 2022 after being detained in Mandalay while attempting to board his flight to a medical appointment in Bangkok. Samson was charged with defamation in 2019 after meeting former U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House to discuss religious persecution in Burma, but the charges were later dropped.