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5 Tavoy student activists sentenced

FILE PHOTO: Students rally in Tavoy [Dawei], Tenasserim Division, on 6 February 2015. (PHOTO: DVB)

Five members of the Tavoy University Students Union were sentenced on Wednesday to either one month in prison or a 30,000-kyat (US$30) fine for their involvement in an education law protests earlier this year.

The Tavoy township court found the students guilty of organising a public rally without official permission, when the group gathered on 27 March to protest the arrest of more than 70 student activists earlier that month, and demand amendments to the National Education Law.

“The court ruled us to pay 30,000 kyat fine each or serve one month in prison – we chose to pay the fine,” Min Lwin Oo, one of the activists, told DVB.

Min Lwin Oo, Zin Maung Phyo, Zaw Lwin Aung, Yuwah Lwin and Thura Naing were among around 20 students who marched in the protest on National Armed Forces Day more than two weeks after police violently broke up similar demonstrations in Letpadan on 10 March.

The five were prosecuted by local police under the Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession Law, under which a clause mandates a maximum sentence of one year imprisonment or a 30,000 kyat fine, or both.

CLICK HERE for DVB’s interactive map and chronology of student protests across Burma.