An anti-dictatorship protest leader from Sagaing Region’s Chaung-U Township was handed a two-year jail sentence for incitement on Wednesday in a junta court inside Monywa Prison, where he had been detained for nearly 10 months, according to a source close to the activist’s family.
Twenty-nine-year-old Man Zar Myay Mon was arrested by the military from Shanhtu village in early June of last year, where he had been on the run from the junta’s forces. He endured a violent interrogation in which he had his fingers broken, a relative told Myanmar Now.
He was charged with five counts of violating Section 505a of the Penal Code.
“He still has to face four more charges,” the family friend told Myanmar Now.
Wednesday’s charge was based on a case filed by police Maj Aung Than Myint, and included two other defendants. Their time already served will be deducted from their prison sentence, the court ruled.
Three of Man Zar Myay Mon’s four other incitement charges were also filed by police officers, and one by a man simply identified in police records as “Aung Baw.”
Further details about those cases were not available at the time of reporting.
The military council issued a warrant for his arrest on April 27, after he had led multiple demonstrations in Chaung-U. He had also taken part in the Letpadan students’ strike in Sagaing in 2014.
Man Zar Myay Mon had previously worked as a freelance journalist, and is an environmental and land rights activist who has researched Myanmar’s mining sector. He is a member of the Myanmar Alliance for Transparency and Accountability and the Myanmar Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative for Sagaing.
According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, there are nearly 10,000 people in detention who have been arrested since the coup. More than 880 have been formally sentenced to prison time.
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One of the retired generals who took part in the ceremony told Myanmar Now that it was held to “raise awareness” among pro-junta members of the public