Chaung-U protest leader gets another 11 years on terror charges

A source close to Man Zar Myay Mon’s family says he still faces further charges for taking part in a prison hunger strike

A protest leader from Sagaing Region’s Chaung-U Township was sentenced to an additional 11 years in prison on terror charges on Wednesday, according to a source close to his family.

Man Zar Myay Mon was handed the sentence by a special court at Sagaing’s Monywa Prison, where he is currently being held.

“He was given another 11 years on terrorism charges, in addition to the 10 years he has already received for five violations of Section 505 of the Penal Code,” said the source, referring to a colonial-era law against incitement.

Prison authorities also plan to prosecute Man Zar Myay Mon on charges related to his participation in a hunger strike held at Monywa Prison in September, the source added.

Around 50 political prisoners took part in the strike, which was held to protest repressive conditions inside the prison, according to the Monywa People’s Strike Steering Committee.

A member of Sagaing Region’s National League for Democracy (NLD) youth chapter, Man Zar Myay Mon was shot in the leg while attempting to evade arrest on June 8, 2021. During five days of interrogation, his fingers were also broken.

In March 2015, he faced a brutal crackdown while taking part in student-led protests in the town of Letpadan in Bago Region. He also tried to run in the 2020 general election as the NLD candidate for Chaung-U, but did not receive the party nomination.

He has also worked as a freelance journalist and is a Sagaing Region member of the Myanmar Alliance for Transparency and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. 

According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, at least 19,593 people remain in prison for opposing the regime that seized power in February 2021.

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