17 students released from custody after signing pledge

13 March 2015
17 students released from custody after signing pledge
Student protester Ma Yi Mon Mon Aung (C) talks to media as her parents stand beside after she is released from Tharyarwaddy district administrative office in Bago division, Myanmar, March 12, 2015. Photo: Nyein Chan Naing/EPA

Seventeen students arrested during the police crackdown in Letpadan were released from Thayawady Prison on March 12 after they signed a pledge not to violate the Article 18 of the Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Processions Law, Ma Yi Mo Mo Aung, a third-year student from the University of East Yangon, who was released on March 12, told Mizzima.
The parents of the students came to the prison and had to show photos of their children to prove they were their offspring. Then the students were required to visit the Thayawady District general administrative office and sign the pledge. They were then released.
“Only after signing the Article 18, were we released. In the prison, they did nothing against the girls. But we saw they battered the boys,” Ma Yi Mo Mo Aung said. “I heard that the student leaders won’t be released.”
Daw Tin Tin Cho, a spokeswoman for the student demonstration information committee, told Mizzima that according to the list, the authorities planned to release 27 out of the 127 arrested students on March 12. The students were arrested during the police crackdown in Letpadan.
Daw Tin Tin Cho said: “We’ve learnt that 27 students will be released. Now, 15 students have been handed over to their parents. I don’t know the situation of the remaining students.”
The students reportedly face charges under Section 505 (b) of the Penal Code for public mischief, Section 143 of the Penal Code for unlawful assembly, Section 145 for joining or continuing in an unlawful assembly, knowing it has been commanded to disperse, Section 147 for punishment for rioting, and Section 332 for voluntarily causing injury to deter a public servant from their duty. The students have been detained in Thayawady Prison in Bago Region.
On March 10, riot police launched a violent crackdown on the student protestors in Letpadan. Some students, some reporters, and some police were injured during the violent police crackdown.
The Information Ministry on March 11 announced that only “real students” who are studying at schools, colleges and universities will be handed over to their parents.