Villagers trial begins in Rakhine

21 June 2019
Villagers trial begins in Rakhine
Armed police officers stand guard near Sittwe Court. Photo: Nyunt Win/EPA

Twenty-three villagers from Myanmar’s conflict-ridden Rakhine state were brought to trial Thursday in Sittwe District Court on charges of violating the country’s counter-terrorism law, RFA reported.

The 23 were part of a group of 27 taken on April 10 from Letka village in Mrauk-U Township, the centre of much of the fighting that has raged since January between the government army and the Arakan Army (AA), an ethnic army fighting for more autonomy for the Buddhist Rakhines in the western state. They were suspected of supporting the AA.

Three of the 27 died while in detention in Sittwe military compound, and the remaining detainees could face a sentence ranging from 10 years to life. It is unclear what happened to one of the surviving 24 detainees.