Two Arakanese Student Leaders Sentenced in Jail For Peaceful Protest And Asking to Reopen Internet in Rakhine State Myanmar; Total Squeezing of Freedom of Expression

Lyaw Lunn right and Myat Hein Htun left are sent to jail on July 23 for protesting to reopen internet in Rakhine State 
AN. Sittway. July 23, 2020. 

Sir…How is the latest condition of my article? Will it be published soon?

Kyaw Lunn wrote to the editor board of Arakan News one day before he was sent to the jail on July 23. 

His research paper on Arakanese youths interested in electoral politics or armed struggle was published by Arakan News yesterday evening. But he did not get a chance to read it because he has already had been in the jail along with his colleague Myat Hin Htun. 
“I and Ko Kyaw Lunn have to appear before Kamaryut court at 10 am. We will face the case against us for last 5 months that we skipped for a number of reasons. In the meanwhile, no perpetrator nor accountable person has yet to be brought to justice who fired the shell into the primary school in Khami Chaung village. No internet service has yet been reinstated in Rakhine State that cuts off for over one year. Both national and international journalists are not free to report news in Arakan but charge with terrorist laws. People shall march on to the end state of freedom struggle.”
Myat Hin Htun sent message to WhatsApp chatting group yesterday morning before he and his colleague went to the court. 

He knew he would not come back to the chatroom for a while but dived into the jail. 

Kyaw Lunn is graduate student and Myat Hin Htun is under graduate. Both are leaders of Arakan student union in Yangon. They were charged for unlawful gathering after they organized for the peaceful protest in February. The protesters called on government to bring perpetrator to justice how fired the shell into the primary school and to reopen internet shutdown in Rakhine State.

Police had filed against half dozens of protesters including Kyaw Lunn and Myat Hin Htun in March. 

On July 23, judge at Kamaryut court sentenced Kyaw Lunn and Myat Hin Htun in jail for one month. 

They brought backpacks along with them when they were taken to the jail by the police convey. In the bags, there are full of revolution and political defiance books that they will read inside the jail-cells.  

They had been hiding for several months because they believed they did nothing wrong. However, their professors had been giving enormous pressure. They could not submit their master thesis papers and term papers because their professors said they got litigation by government. 

Finally, they decided they would walk into the jail. 

His friend Bone Hlaing said, “Going to the jail for them does mean they are not kneeling down to no one but defining for justice.”

This  unamicable memory will be attached with these two young men for the rest of their lives. Definitely, they will be community leaders soon and then political leaders in times. These kinds of unfair treatment and one-sided oppression done on them when they spoke out for their own people will keep them for their lifetime challenges. 

They are victims of NLD government that has zero tolerance on freedom of expression. More activists are thrown into the jail then the previous pro-military government.

An Arakanese student activist who keeps his name confident says: “For peaceful protest…you get arrested. For expressing your opinion on social media…you are sued. Your freedom of expression is squeezed. Then you take up arms…you are branded as terrorists. The harder the regime press us, the most likely we are kicked into the dead-end corner. You know what reverse is.”

Restriction after restriction, blockage after blockage, arresting after arrest, jailing after jail, killing and after kill that is what the elected NLD government enforcing over the poverty deepen Rakhine people, but never accommodate for dialogue and peaceful solution. 

The insight of Kyaw Lunn article provides government leadership to restraint themselves from imposing more violence on Rakhine people. 

We are happy to present the jailed student leader article:


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