By Lalnun – The Central Chin Youth Organization has called on the authorities to release three ethnic Kachin youth leaders now in prison for their role in campaigning for the protection of internally displaced people (IDPs) in Kachin State.
In a statement released late last week, the Chin youth group described the arrest and sentencing of the Kachin protesters as deviating from the government’s objective to restore rule of law in Burma. They also described the move as going against the democratic values of freedom of speech and assembly and that it threatened civil society and the peace process.
Nang Pu, Lum Zawng and Zau Jat were handed six months in prison and a 500,000-kyat fine on December 7 for leading a May demonstration calling for IDPs caught in clashes between the Burma Army and the Kachin Independence Army to be able to leave the area safely. The Burma Army’s Lt-Col Myo Min Oo brought charges against the three youth leaders in a Myitkyina court accusing them of defaming the military. They were convicted of the charges.
Thousands of people took part in a demonstration in the Kachin State capital of Myitkyina on Monday also demanding Nang Pu, Lum Zawng and Zau Jat’s release.