Kalay protesters handed 10-year sentences for alleged terrorism

The sentences are in addition to the two years they are already serving for incitement against the coup regime

Four members of a local strike committee in Sagaing Region’s Kalay Township were each sentenced to 10 years in prison on Monday for alleged acts of terror, according to the group.

The prisoners were already serving two-year sentences for incitement that were handed down a month after their arrest earlier this year.

It was unclear what alleged offences the latest charges were based on.

Than Soe Oo, Tian Date Kim, Ei San and Myo Ko Oo, who are all members of the Kalay Central Strike Committee, were arrested in the town’s Tut Oo Thidar Ward on April 16.

The military also ransacked and sealed their homes, a member of the committee told Myanmar Now.

“The junta knows very well that they don’t have the people’s support, so every public movement scares them. That’s why they’re sentencing so many protesters to prison,” the strike committee member said.

Protesters in Kalay were among the first in the country to take up arms against the regime that overthrew Myanmar’s elected civilian government in February 2021.

Nearly 60 members of the town’s strike committee are currently being held by the regime, resulting in a steep decline in the number of protests.

However, Kalay Township and many other parts of Sagaing Region remain hotbeds of armed dissent more than two and a half years after the coup.

According to latest figures compiled by the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, the junta has arrested nearly 25,000 people for anti-regime activities since seizing power.

Of these, 19,278 remain behind bars, while another 391 have died in custody, the advocacy group claimed.     

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