Meiktila MP sentenced to three-year prison term despite promise of release

A Meiktila parliamentarian sentenced, released and rearrested by the junta was handed a new sentence of three years’ imprisonment for allegedly violating Article 17(1) of the Unlawful Associations Act on Tuesday, according to a family member. 

Lwin Maung Maung, the MP representing Meiktila’s Constituency 1 in the Mandalay regional parliament, was initially convicted of incitement under Section 505a of the Penal Code and sentenced to three years in prison in May. He was rearrested at the prison gates immediately after being released in an October amnesty.

On Tuesday, he was again sentenced to the same term of imprisonment in a Meiktila prison court. 

Thirty-seven-year-old Lwin Maung Maung was elected to represent the National League for Democracy (NLD) in Myanmar’s 2020 election over his primary competitor, a candidate for the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party. 

His first arrest was on April 28, and he was sentenced for the incitement charge just 14 days later, without a trial. 

According to the relative that spoke to Myanmar Now, after Lwin Maung Maung’s rearrest in October, he was sentenced again after just four court hearings concerning the Unlawful Associations charge. 

He was reportedly accused of being part of an anti-junta organisation of elected NLD lawmakers ousted following the February 1 military coup—the Mandalay chapter of the Committee Representing the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw—which was declared a “terrorist” group by the coup regime.

The judge in Lwin Maung Maung’s case arrived at his most recent verdict after examining only the plaintiff’s witnesses, including a junta administrator and three police officers, the relative said.

“Both he and his family have so much to lose. There wasn’t even enough evidence for him to be convicted,” the relative said. “We didn’t think he would be given such a heavy sentence. Three years in prison is just too much.” 

The junta has been destroying NLD offices and sentencing party leaders and lawmakers to lengthy prison terms in the 10 months since the coup that ousted their administration. 

Lwin Maung Maung is the younger brother of one of the monks that led the 2007 Saffron Revolution against military rule, U Gambira—also known as Nyi Nyi Lwin.  

For his role in the movement, U Gambira was arrested by the military authorities, brutally beaten during interrogation, and given a long prison term under the previous State Peace and Development Council administration. 

Related Articles

Back to top button