Amnesty calls for release of activist Thein Aung Myint

28 April 2015
Amnesty calls for release of activist Thein Aung Myint
Activist U Thein Aung Myint (C) addresses a protest gathering in Mandalay on September 12, 2014. Photo: Pyae Sone Aung/EPA

Amnesty International has called for the immediate release of activist U Thein Aung Myint has been jailed for a further six months for participating in a peaceful protest in Myanmar, according to a press release on April 27.
The rights NGO considers him a prisoner of conscience who must be immediately and unconditionally released. 
U Thein Aung Myint is now due to serve a total of one year in prison.
On April 23, a court in Mandalay sentenced U Thein Aung Myint, an activist with the community-based organization the Movement for Democratic Current Force (MDCF), to a further six months in prison. He was found guilty of protesting without permission under Article 18 of the Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession Law, a law commonly used to arrest and imprison peaceful political activists. 
He was charged after organizing a peaceful protest in Mandalay on October 27, 2014, calling for an investigation into the death in military custody of journalist Ko Aung Kyaw Naing (aka Ko Par Gyi). Although U Thein Aung Myint had applied to the local township authorities for permission to protest, the request was rejected, as it had been made one day before the proposed event. The Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession Law states that permission to protest must be sought at least five days in advance of planned demonstrations or assemblies. Despite this the protest went ahead, with around 200 people attending. U Thein Aung Myint was subsequently charged. 
U Thein Aung Myint is currently serving a separate six-month prison sentence for peacefully protesting in March 2014 against electricity price rises. He was sentenced along with three others - his wife Daw Khet Khet Tin, fellow MDCF activist U Saw Hla Aung and bystander U Kyaw Myo Htun. They were all sentenced under Article 18 of the Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession Law. All four are currently detained in Mandalay’s Oh Bo prison and are prisoners of conscience. 
Amnesty is calling on the authorities for the immediate and unconditional release of all those held, and that while they are detained, there are treated humanely and not tortured.