TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Burma Human Rights Network (BHRN) strongly condemns the decision by the court to sentence antiwar activist Htin Kyaw to two years in prison with hard labor. Htin Kyaw was arrested following a ‘one-man protest in Yangon’ for which he was charged under Burma’s Penal Code 505(b), disrupting public tranquility. Htin Kyaw has previously called on international tribunals to arrest Burma’s generals.
“Ko Htin Kyaw’s arrest demonstrates that the Burmese Military has no tolerance for criticism. They are showing the world that they oppose even fundamental democratic principles and they are showing the people of Burma that they will not tolerate any opposing opinions. Ko Htin Kyaw’s arrest shows that the regime is still in charge and that they will use tyranny and oppression to ensure they can keep this power,” said BHRN Executive Director, Kyaw Win.
Htin Kyaw is the founder of the Movement for Democracy Force and has been arrested several times for opposing the Burmese Military’s excessive use of force on its own citizens and their anti-democratic principles.
BHRN calls upon the Burmese Government to issue a pardon to all political prisoners including Ko Htin Kyaw in order to demonstrate its commitment to Democratic reform. The international community must insist upon his release and that Burma take serious measures to protect freedom of expression in the country to reverse its course towards a more totalitarian society.
BHRN is based in London, operates across Burma and works for human rights, minority rights and religious freedom in Burma. BHRN has played a crucial role advocating for human rights and religious freedom with politicians and world leaders.