Junta to file criminal charges against detained Kachin reverend

The junta is expected to soon file criminal charges against the detained former chair of the Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC) Dr Hkalam Samson, a representative of the organisation said on Wednesday. 

Kachin religious leader Dr Samson was arrested at Mandalay’s Tada-U Airport on Monday and reportedly sent to the military’s Northern Regional Command headquarters in Myitkyina, Kachin State. He has not been heard from since.

KBC’s deputy secretary Lahpai Zau Ra said in a video message posted on the organisation’s Facebook page that the junta’s minister of border affairs and state security summoned four of the organisation’s officials to the Myitkyina military base on Tuesday. There, he reportedly informed them that Dr Samson would soon be facing charges.

Lahpai Zau Ra said that the border affairs minister did not elaborate on which laws the reverend had allegedly violated, but it was understood that the charges could be related to the content of his lectures and religious sermons.

“He showed us several videos as ‘evidence’ of the reverend’s ‘crimes.’ Some of them were meeting records,” Lahpai Zau Ra said in the video posted to KBC’s Facebook page.

KBC said it has formed a committee dedicated to working for Dr Samson’s release.

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