Police set to charge three activists for Human Rights Day protest in Sittwe

Police said they would charge three Rakhine activists after they led a demonstration in Sittwe to mark international Human Rights Day last Thursday.

The activists from the Rakhine Youth New Generation Network (RYNGN) were told of the plans to charge them after being questioned at the protest. 

Than Hla, Naing Naing Htun and Khaing Myat Thu also observed the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, which falls on November 25, during the protest in the state capital. 

“We were told to sign some documents… They asked us what the purpose of the campaign was and said there’ll be a charge within 15 days,” said Than Hla.

About 30 people gathered at Point Beach for the protest, during which they also handed out free masks. 

Two police officers in civilian clothing visited RYNGN’s office in Sittwe the following day to check if the group is officially registered, said Oo Khaing Thein, a member of the group who attended the protest.

The protesters chose to focus on violence against women to highlight the plight of women amid fighting between the Arakan Army and the Tatmadaw, she added. 

“There’s so much abuse towards women who are facing the consequences of the armed clashes,” she said. “They are being abused even at IDP camps. We need to stop this and that’s why we had the campaign,” she said. 

Aung Mya Oo, the chief officer at Sittwe township No. 1 Police Station, declined to comment on the case.

Rights groups have warned in recent months that authorities are systematically targeting anti-war campaigners in Rakhine state. 

Four activists from the Rakhine State Students’ Union were charged with causing fear or alarm to the public in October after protesting against the regional government and the military. 

Related Articles

Back to top button