Govt urged to release ‘arrested’ women activists in Burma
03 September 2013: The Women’s Initiative Network for Peace (Win-Peace) has called on the government of Burma to release women activists arrested and jailed for their roles in peaceful protests in the country.
Win-Peace said Naw Ohn Hla and other nine protesters as well as women activists recently detained including Daw Khin Mi Mi Khaing and Daw Myint Myint Aye must be immediately and unconditionally released.
Susanna Hla Hla Soe, head of Women Organization Network of Myanmar, said: “We are seeing a series of instances of judicial harassment and violence against women human rights defenders and peaceful protestors all around Myanmar, which is very disappointing and disheartening.”
She also highlighted the need for allowing women to play a front line role in defending the rights of their communities.
Daw Khin Mi Mi Khaing and Daw Myint Myint Aye were falsely accused of participating in illegal associations, and recruiting new members into their associations.
They were charged under Section 6 of the 1988 Law Relating to Forming of Organizations for failing to register their social networks with the government of Myanmar. They were denied bail and sent to Paungde Prison.
A statement by Win-Peace on Sunday said Naw Ohn Hla and nine other women were arrested following a peaceful protest against the Letpadaung copper mine in Monywa, Sagaing Region, on 13 August 2013.
On 29 August 2013, Naw Ohn Hla was found guilty of disturbing public tranquility under Section 505(b) of the Myanmar Penal Code and sentenced to two years in prison with hard labor.
She remains to be tried under Section 18 of the Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession Law for allegedly holding a protest without permission, according to the statement.
On 10 June 2013 Daw Khin Mi Mi Khaing and Daw Myint Myint Aye were arrested in Pae Ma Khan Village in Bago Division for showing their support to farmers who ploughed land that had been confiscated by the Myanmar Army almost two decades ago.
The statement said they were asked to meet the head of the local authority from Nattalin Township in Bago Division. On their arrival, they were arrested and taken to Nattalin Court by the police.
WIN-Peace also calls upon the international community to take necessary action to support and assist women activists in Burma in continuing their valuable human rights work.#