Thein Aung Myint, who was indicted for violating Section 18 of the penal code, staged a solo protest in front of the Aungmyethazan Township court against the presiding judge on December 15. He was on trial for advocating the release of information on the murder of freelance journalist Ko Par Gyi, and he now accuses the judge who indicted him of unfair bias.
Thein Aung Myint applied for permission to stage his protest in front of the court house, but his application was rejected. On the same day, Mandalay residents and civic organisations also protested against the judge.
“I was sued for violating Section 18 by demonstrating to find out the truth about the Par Gyi murder case. The township judge favoured the plaintiffs,” the defendant said.
Township deputy judge Hlwan Moe Aung held a press conference to address the defendant’s protest against the court.
“He demonstrated to find out the truth about the Par Gyi case on October 27 without permission. Now he protests against the judge for unfairness. We did not bully him in court, and we handled the case in accordance with existing laws, rules and procedures. The judicial system is independent and free from the control of the administrative pillar.”
Hlwan Moe Aung added that Thein Aung Myint will not be charged for demonstrating in front of the court because the demonstration was in line with the law.
Mandalay residents demonstrated on October 27 and November 4 to demand the release of information on the Par Gyi case. The authorities charged Thein Aung Myint alone for violating Section 18.
The body of freelance journalist Aung Kyaw Naing also called Par Gyi, was brought from Mon State to Yangon and laid to rest in a tomb at Yay Way cemetery on Friday.
His body was conveyed to Yangon after being exhumed from a shallow grave in a field in Kyaikmaraw Township in Mon State on November 5. More than 500 people, including Buddhist monks and members of political and social organisations, attended the funeral of the slain reporter.
Along the route from Mawlamyine Hospital to the Yangon city, Par Gyi’s body was flanked by members from township branches of the opposition National League for Democracy and social organisations and political activists for the safety and convenience of the body conveying.
“In Mawlamyine, eight monks tried to stop us carrying the dead body as they thought it was unholiness for the town. When we were about to leave Bago, three monks tried to stop us,” said Naw Ohn Hla from Democracy and Peace Myanmar Women Network, who joined the procession.
“How we will continue to react to the murder of Ko Par Gyi, we are still discussing. His wife Ma Than Dar is poor health.”
The funeral was also attended NLD’s patron Tin Oo and members, local and foreign correspondents. NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi, political parties and civic organisations sent wreaths.
Killed Journalist Par Gyi’s body was exhumed in a field in Kyaikmayaw Township in Mon State on Wednesday with evidence immediately pointing to torture.
According to eye-witness Nay Myo Zin, the corpse showed signs of a broken jaw, a caved-in skull and swelling on the torso indicating broken ribs.
“It is completely clear that Ko Par Gyi was tortured,” he said. photo cr. Ko Nay Myo Zin
Myanmar authorities said on Tuesday that they would take legal action against a newspaper for an interview describing the words of the president as “absurd and insane”, amid mounting international concern over backtracking on press freedoms.
The Myanmar Herald Journal, renowned for its criticism of the government and ministers in the former junta-run country, was accused of having “tarnished the image and rights” of President Thein Sein, according to a statement from the information ministry published in state-backed media.
The decision to sue the paper, which authorities said followed a process of mediation by the interim press council, comes as media freedoms fall under the spotlight before a visit by US President Barack Obama next week.
His visit is likely to highlight concerns over journalist arrests and the death in army custody of a freelance reporter late last month.
Slain journalist Par Gyi’s wife says some wrong information were included in a press release issued on October 31 by the Myanmar Press Council (Interim), about her husband’s death.
Thandar, wife of late Aung Kyaw Naing who was also known as Par Gyi, says she disagreed with the statement strongly, which included discussions between Army General Aung Ye Win and officials from the council about the freelance reporter’s death.
The statement, which referred to Par Gyi as Aung Naing (not Aung Kyaw Naing) throughout, says he admitted he was Aung Naing, communication in-charge of the Khlohtoobaw Karen Organisation (KKO) and he had got divorced in 2012 from his wife, who lived in Mae Sot, after the army in cooperation with police had detained him on September 30 at a jetty in Mon State’s Kyaikmayaw township.
“He was never a member of an armed group. And I oppose the statement that says I’m his ex-wife. We had been together till his death. By making this statement, the Defence Ministry is causing mental anguish to my three children,” Thandar said.
She also said the statement was completely wrong to describe her as the ex-wife of Par Gyi.