Kachin youth leaders Seng Nu Pan and Paw Lu were today convicted and sentenced to 15 days’ imprisonment by the Myitkyina Township Court under article 19 of the Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession Law. ARTICLE 19 previously called on the court to uphold the right to freedom of assembly. In a recently released report, youth-led freedom of expression organisation Athan concluded that 91 percent of individuals charged under the Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession Law since the beginning of the year have been youth activists.
Matthew Bugher, Head of ARTICLE 19’s Asia Programme, said:
“The conviction of Seng Nu Pan and Paw Lu is the latest blow in the relentless attacks on freedom of expression in Myanmar since the beginning of this year.”
“Youth activists are bearing the brunt of the military’s apparently boundless hypersensitivity. It is appalling that courageous young people calling for peace continue to be thrown in prison while those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity remain in post.”
“The Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession Law urgently needs a fundamental rework. The conviction of Seng Nu Pan and Paw Lu is further evidence that, despite amendments enacted in 2016, the law is being weaponised to deny the people of Myanmar their fundamental rights.”