Monks among four nationalists arrested after scuffle with police at pro-Wirathu rally 

Four people, including two monks, have been arrested after protestors scuffled with police outside Insein prison during a rally to support the jailed monk Wirathu. 

One of the men has been charged with punching police officers during the demonstration on Saturday, where about 50 supporters demanded the hate-preaching monk be allowed to appear in court in person, rather than by video link. 

The two monks, who were involved in organising the protest, were charged with violating the Peaceful Assembly Law, Insein township police station deputy officer Tin Latt told Myanmar Now.

“The one arrested in the morning will be hit with disruption of duty under article 353, and maybe 332 for punching police officers,” he said. 

“The monks will be facing charges under the Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession Law. There were about 20 monks in total but we’re suing the leader and one major supporter,” he added. 

The two monks are Agga Daza and Pinya Vansa, and the two laypeople are Win Htwe and Thet Myo Oo.

Both The Myo O0, an organiser, and Win Htwe, who was charged for punching a police officer, have been let out on bail, Tin Latt said. 

“We’re still interrogating the two monks and there are no more people for us to arrest,” he said. 

Wirathu is facing a sedition charge, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years, because of several speeches he made in 2019 attacking State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi. He went into hiding for over a year but handed himself in shortly before the general election in November. 

On January 12, about 50 nationalists protested in front of the Yangon Western District Court to demand that Wirathu be allowed to appear in person for his trial. 

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