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Three civil society leaders have been sentenced to 6 months in prison with a fine of 500,000 Kyat each for ‘defamation’ of the Burma army under Article 500 of the Panel Law. The World Kachin Congress (WKC) has condemned the charges, claiming Ms Nang Pu, Mr Lum Zawng, and Mr Zau Jat committed no crime whilst organising a peaceful protest to call on the Burma army to desist from blocking humanitarian assistance and safe refuge to displaced people in Kachin state.
The statement, released in December, reads: “The Burma Army is the primary purveyor of violence and only underwriter of atrocities in ethnic states for over 5 decades. They are flaunting their impunity and power over the justice system by exacting unjust sentencing, intimidating anyone daring to speak out against their crimes.”
The World Kachin Congress has urged the international community to place sanctions against the ‘real criminals’ in the Burma army who have committed crimes and human rights abuses against unarmed civilians. The report describes the army’s deliberate entrapment of displaced people who were used as ‘human shields’ amid continuing attacks in Kachin state.
Supporters of democracy have been called upon to lobby against the Burma army to bring war criminals and perpetrators of genocide to justice. Click on the link below to read the WKC statement in full.