Chiang Mai – Thet Wei, Chairman of the Sanchaung Township National League for Democracy (NLD) was sentenced to two years in prison on Tuesday for trying to lodge a complaint to the ILO on the use of child soldiers by the Burmese military junta.
The Rangoon, Pabedan Township court found him guilty after charging him with 'obstructing discharge of duty by public servant'.
Before being sentenced the opposition leader was frequently charged and then his charges were dropped. Again he was released on bail and rearrested soon after, repeatedly.
"U Thet Wei has been sentenced to a prison term. He was charged under section 359 and 189 of the Penal Code. Then the Pabedan Court dropped the charges under section 189 (threat of injury to public servant) and sentenced him in another case under section 359," Ko Pho Phyu, the defence counsel said.
The police arrested him in January for being in possession of a 'memory stick' in which complaint letters on the use of child soldiers to be sent to the ILO was stored.
He was arrested on January 19 while he was visiting a friend who was facing trial and then released on bail later. Then the police revoked the bail and framed charges against him again under Section 33(a), 33(b) of the Electronic Law. He was sent to Insein prison.
Yet again the charge under the Electronic Law was dropped on February 22 and he was released on bail.
"He was sentenced to two years in prison with hard labour. I feel extremely upset and do not want to say anything," his wife Daw Than Than said.
Thet Wei had revealed that initially junta officials came and told him that he would be acquitted on the condition that he issue a statement saying all the complaint letters were bogus and based on wrong information but U Thet Wei refused.