Nine PDF medics sentenced to 12 years in prison on terror and sedition charges

Nine women who were captured late last year while working as People’s Defence Force (PDF) medics in Sagaing Region’s Kalay Township have been handed 12-year prison sentences, according to a prison source.

A court inside Kalay Prison sentenced them last month after finding them guilty of sedition and supporting terrorism, the source told Myanmar Now.

“They were charged under Section 505a of the Penal Code and the Counter-Terrorism Law. They were each given a total of 12 years,” said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The women have been held at the prison since they were captured by junta soldiers during a raid on a PDF base in southwestern Kalay in November 2021. Three others apprehended during the same raid, including another medic, were reportedly tortured to death.

There were reports that some or all of the women had been beaten during their initial interrogation while being held at a military base prior to their transfer to the prison.

The medics, who were between the ages of 20 and 28 at the time of their arrest, were identified as Daisy Van Lal Rawni, Zam Zo Zam, Lal Muan Kimi, Laltlan Hlui, Lal Pian Feli, Man Lam Dim, Niang Don Ciin, Lal Lun Sangi and Mal Sawn Dawngi.

A relative of one of the women reported that they were all believed to be in good health, but added that contact with them has been extremely limited due to security measures.

“It hasn’t been easy to visit them in prison. When we go, we are subjected to thorough searches at military checkpoints. Right now, we can’t go at all,” said the family member, who did not want to be identified.

According to a statement released by the National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC)—an anti-regime coalition group—on Sunday, more than 3,400 women have been arrested by the military since it seized power in February 2021.

Regime authorities have also killed at least 300 women since the coup, the NUCC statement added.

The latest figures compiled by the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) show that a total of 16,432 people have been arrested for resisting the regime, of whom 12,973 were still in detention as of November 25.

Of the nearly 5,800 prisoners released by the junta on November 17 as part of an amnesty to mark Myanmar’s National Day, only 53 were political prisoners, according to the AAPP. 

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