!! #myanmar #19 #NayPyiTaw #residents #jailed #for #protest #against #landgrabbing #hardlabour


19 jailed for protest against land seizures

A Pobbathiri Township court issued sentences against 19 Nay Pyi Taw residents yesterday for holding a ploughing competition in protest of the government’s seizure of their land to use it for state-run newspapers.
Judge Khin Win sentenced Zaw Lat, the protest leader, to seven years in prison with hard labour, while 18 others will serve prison sentences ranging from four to six years plus hard labour.
“The unilateral verdict is based only on police statements. We were not allowed to call witnesses. We were afforded no rights. It is totally unfair for us to receive long-term sentences,” said Zaw Lat.
In the 2003-4 fiscal year, the information ministry confiscated more than 500 acres of land to build a printing house for state-run newspapers in Webyan village, Zeyathiri Township. Twenty-two farmers received compensations that were far lower than actual land prices in 2009-10, and 38 others were not compensated at all.
The government’s failure to negotiate with the villagers about the seized land led to a protest on September 12, 2013. More than 70 police raided the protest and arrested the villagers, who reportedly defended themselves. The protesters were then charged with several crimes, including disturbances to police duties.
Thae Maung Maung, a lawyer for Zaw Lat, said they would file an appeal at a higher court. cr. eleven media


#Myanmar #Burma #Activist #Htin #Kyaw #jailed for #defamatory #charge

Two jailed members of the Movement for Democracy Current Force (MDCF), including its founder, were back in court again yesterday, this time for distributing leaflets claiming National League for Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and members of ethnic political parties had formed an interim government.
The group’s founder, Htin Kyaw, and member Naung Naung were charged with violating Section 505 (B) of the Penal Code, which makes it illegal to publish and disseminate information that can, among other things, alarm the public.
The trial was held at the Kyauktatar Township Court. Both men have been sentenced, and face other charges, at numerous townships in Yangon for violating a host of laws rights groups have described as tools for controlling dissent. Though small, the MDCF is a very vocal protest group. Its members have in the past advocated on behalf of farmers involved in land disputes and against specific pieces of legislation that limits public protests, freedom of assembly and freedom of speech.
On July 7, about 30 of its members demonstrated in Kyauktatar Township to show they had no confidence in the government President Thein Sein. “We did not apply for the permission to protest, but we told authorities [we would],” a member of MDCF said.
Protest leader Naung Naung was arrested the next day, interrogated for 14 days and then sent to Insein Prison, MDCF members said.
Naung Naung said all the protesters had been rounded up by police after their protest, but officers at the township police station said there were too many to process so it sent them home. He said that he was arrested at 1am the following day.
The trial against Naung Naung and Htin Kyaw for allegedly violating Section 505 (B) will resume on August 18. Continue reading “#Myanmar #Burma #Activist #Htin #Kyaw #jailed for #defamatory #charge”