Saturday, April 9, 2016

MYANMAR frees some political prisoners but jails 2 Muslims

More than 100 political prisoners in Myanmar have been freed under an amnesty ordered by the country's new de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, as her first official act.
The move was praised by human rights advocates, but a jarring note was struck when two peace activists the same day Friday were each sentenced to two years with hard labor for activities bringing them into contact with an armed ethnic rebel group that has been battling the central government.
A court in the central city of Mandalay sentenced Zaw Zaw Latt and Pwint Phyu Latt under a law barring associating with an unlawful organization for their contacts with the Kachin Independence Army, a guerrilla group in the country's far north. Both were already sentenced in February to two years' imprisonment for immigration law violations.
The two are members of an interfaith religious organization and said that they had been seeking to help refugees from fighting. Both are also Muslims, a minority that has faced increasing pressure and violence in recent years in overwhelmingly Buddhist Myanmar.
So, I am concerned that while some progress may ensue from the peaceful transition of power, when it comes to the minority Muslims their despicable condition may not improve at all!

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