Parents meet detained student protesters

Daw Khin Khin Yu, mother of student leader Ko Min Thway Thit at Thayawady Prison on March 20, 2015. Photo: Chocho Bakatha/Facebook

The parents of two detained student leaders Ko Min Thway Thit and Ma Phyo Phyo Aung met with their children at Thayawady Prison on March 20 evening.  

Ko Min Thway Thit and Ma Phyo Phyo Aung were arrested during the violent police crackdown against student protestors in Letpadan, Bago Region on March 10.         

The parents were able to meet with them for the first time since they were arrested 11 days earlier.          

Daw Khin Khin Yu, mother of student leader Ko Min Thway Thit, told Mizzima: “He told me not to worry. He said he could stand it. He said he now has relief from the rib-pain and headaches.”

Ko Min Thway Thit was brutally beaten and kicked by security police during the police crackdown in Letpadan.

Daw Khin Khin Yu, mother of Ko Min Thway Thit, said that health situation of Ma Phyo Phyo Aung was also good.

Pyay, Shwetaung and Paungte police stations have filed charges against Ko Min Thway Thit and Ma Phyo Phyo Aung under Article 18 of the Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Processions Law.

A total of 97 students and protestors including Ko Min Thway Thit and Ma Phyo Phyo Aung who have been arrested face charges and a second hearing will be conducted at Letpadan Township Court on March 25.

They face charges under Section 143 of the Penal Code for unlawful assembly, Section 145 for joining or continuing in an unlawful assembly, knowing it had been commanded to disperse, Section 147 for punishment for rioting, Section 332 for voluntarily causing pain to deter a public servant from their duty, and Article 505 (b) of the Penal Code for public mischief.

Speaking about the charges, lawyer U Robert San Aung said the government should not charge the students as many were injured. “If the police are sued because they injured students, will the authorities accept a lawsuit? If a lawsuit is filed against police for breaking the windscreen of a vehicle, will the authorities accept it?”

Daw Khin Khin Yu said the Myanmar Lawyers Network is helped the students who have been arrested.

A total of 127 people including student protestors, their supporters and two journalists were beaten and arrested by riot police. Later the two journalists and 28 students were released, according to a government source.

Student protestors staged sit-in protests for 11 days in Letpadan, and on March 10, police launched a violent crackdown on protestors while they were preparing to leave for Yangon, after reportedly receiving permission to proceed.

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