NLD lawmaker Win Mya Mya sentenced to three years in prison

Win Mya Mya, an elected MP from Myanmar’s ousted ruling party, was sentenced to three years in prison on Wednesday, according to her nephew.

The 73-year-old politician, who was also vice chair of the Mandalay branch of the National League for Democracy (NLD) until her arrest in February of last year, had been charged with incitement under Section 505a of the Penal Code.

“She was accused of leading 3,000 people in a protest,” said her nephew Soe Moe Aung. “She admitted to being at the protest, but said she wasn’t leading the other protesters.”

According to Soe Moe Aung, the charges against her also stem from allegations that she had taken part in a “sitting strike” in downtown Mandalay and had urged public servants to join the Civil Disobedience Movement against military rule.

“The court decided that it was against the law to protest without the permission from the authorities and handed her a three-year prison sentence with hard labour,” he said.

Win Mya Mya has been held at Mandalay’s Obo Prison since her arrest on February 27, 2021, just weeks after the military seized power in a coup.

Nine days before she was detained, she had joined a massive protest near the Chinese consulate in Mandalay. As many as 100,000 people, including public employees and members of farm, labour and student unions, took part in that gathering.

According to Soe Moe Aung, her family has been unable to have any direct contact with her since her arrest, and now fears that it will become even more difficult to communicate with her.

“We could see her from a distance during her court hearings, so at least we had a chance to wave at her sometimes,” he said, before adding: “If we’re not allowed to visit her, we could lose contact completely.”

Myanmar’s junta has severely restricted prison visits since last year on the pretext of preventing the spread of Covid-19, according to lawyers.

Protesters rally near the Chinese consulate in Mandalay on February 18, 2021 (Myanmar Now)

Win Mya Mya has been imprisoned a number of times since she first became active in politics during Myanmar’s nationwide uprising against military rule in 1988.

As a rare Muslim candidate, she was also targeted by nationalists ahead of the 2020 election, in which she won a seat in parliament representing Mandalay’s Sintgaing Township.

The Mandalay native suffers from a number of medical conditions, including diabetes. Currently being held in a 10”x10” prison cell, she also has joint pain and is in need of eye surgery.

Dr. Zaw Myint Maung, Mandalay’s ousted chief minister, is also being held in Obo Prison, where he faces decades behind bars on multiple charges.

The 70-year-old NLD veteran, who was among the first to be detained when the party was forced from power, has been receiving treatment for leukaemia since 2019.

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