Mon monk sentenced to 15 years in Insein Prison

Ashin Uk Kong Sah

Arka : Mon monk Ashin Uk Kong Sah, arrested on January 7th of this year, received a sentence of 15 years in Insein Prison, from the Insein Prison court in Rangoon.

According to his attorney, Ashin Uk Kong Sah was sentenced on Monday to 10 years in prison for violating “Electricity Act”, 4 years for Publication Act and 1 year for disturbing the security and peace of the state.

The broken “Electricity Act” referes to the cache of computers, printers, and hard drives that the defendant had stored in his residence at the time of his arrest.

Daw Khin Htay Kywe, Ashin’s attorney, reported that technically, the court was entitled to mete out a longer sentence comprised of 15 years for Electricity Act, 7 years for Publication Act, and 2 years for disturbing the security and peace of the state, but the original 24 year-long sentence was reduced to a 15 year period.

Despite the sentence reductions, Daw Khin Htay Kywe told IMNA that he was displeased with the results of the trial, as he maintains that his client was convicted without valid legal evidence.

“The [plaintiffs] couldn’t confirm their proof of his case, according to the law” Daw Khin Htay Kywe said.

Ashin’s sister told IMNA that he has being suffering from a stomach disease, kidney disease, and back pain after being tortured in June; he also reportedly caught malaria around this time.

The defendant was taken to Insein prison after his arrest in January, and has been on trial in the Insein court for over 4 months, since May 14th .

Ashin was from Mudoon village, Chaungzone township and was 30 years old; he has been a monk for 9 years. After becoming a monk, he served at Aung Zeya Pariyatti monastery in Naing Hlone village, Mudon Township as a lecturer, and lived at the monastery for roughly 5 years.

Ashin Uk Kong San was arrested on January 7th, while in possession of four leaflets protesting the the upcoming 2010 elections, by police forces in Kjan Khaing Ye quarter, Thanphyuzayart Township.

IMNA’s January 14th article covered how that following Ashin’s arrest, Burmese authorities occupied the Mudon Township monastery where he lived, and seized documents and equipment belonging to him; the monastery was kept under surveillance. He was transferred to Rangoon three days later, after reportedly being hospitalized for sustaining serious injuries at the hands of Burmese government troops.

Associates of Ashin stated that he acted as a teacher at the Mon National school in Nyi Sar, in New Mon State Party-controlled area for roughly 2 years. He spearheaded the opening of libraries, youth organizations, and blood donation groups; Ashin taught Mon summer school and participated in other Mon cultural activities.

Ashin donated food to his former monastery and his fellow prisoners at Insein prison on the 63rd anniversary of Mon Revolution Day this year, while in custody at Insein; IMNA reported on the event in Burmese this August.

His relatives told IMNA that they, and Ashin’s attorney, plan to push for a retrial to reduce the length of his sentence.

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