Tuesday, 16 February 2010 00:42 Myint Maung
New Delhi (Mizzima) – The Burmese military junta continues to be harsh to democracy activists in the run up to the general elections with four women activists including Naw Ohn Hla, all supporters of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, sentenced to two years in prison each, today.
They were earlier charged under section 505(b) of the Penal Code by the Rangoon eastern district court in session inside the Insein prison precincts.
The court wrapped up the four-month long trial against the four women activists by handing out a two year term with hard labour. They were arrested on the way back home after offering alms in a monastery.
“All four of them were sentenced to two years each by the eastern district court judge Aung Thein and law officer (public prosecutor) Daw Tin Tin Win,” defence lawyer Kyaw Hoe said.
Kyaw Hoe said he would file an appeal against the verdict handed down to Naw Ohn Hla (Hmaw Bi), Myint Myint San (Dallah Township), Cho Cho Lwin (Thingangyun) and Cho Cho Aye a.k.a. Ma Cho (South Dagon).
“I am dissatisfied with the judgment. There was lack of evidence, no eye witnesses and no documentary evidence in court. The main documentary evidence ‘Kamwah’ cannot be exhibited at the trial and there was lack of evidence in offering ‘Kamwah’ to the monk. And the monk could not be produced as witness either. So the judgment is contrary to the law,” he said. Naw Ohn Hla and three other women were arrested by the police on their way back home after offering alms in the Magwe Pryiyatti monastery in Dagon satellite town in Rangoon Division on October 3 last year. They were accused of offering 42 palm leaves of ‘Kamwah’ to abbot U Pamauk Kha in the monastery. The Rangoon Division Police filed a case against them.
The women used to hold prayer services every Tuesday on the Shwedagon pagoda platform, for the release of pro-democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
On the Thadingyut full moon day when the women were arrested, clandestine monk organizations observed ex-communication boycott against the military regime and urged other monks to severe ties with the military authorities. The monks observed the boycott in protest against arbitrary detention of fellow monks after an ultimatum to the regime.
(Edited by Ye Yint Aung)