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ABFSU, NNER demand re-admission of expelled student activist

Representatives of NNER and ABFSU pictured at a press conference on 4 June 2017. (PHOTO: DVB)

Members of the Network for National Education Reform (NNER) and the All Burma Federation of Student Unions (ABFSU) have demanded that student activist Zaw Ye Htut be readmitted to Sagaing Education College following his release from prison under a May presidential amnesty.

Zaw Ye Htut was among four dissidents arrested and detained for staging a protest in April against what they called “military-style oppression” within Burma’s education system.

NNER issued a statement yesterday demanding that the government, led by the National League for Democracy (NLD), and the relevant departments of education, readmit the second-year student.

“The NLD is a party whose foundation is embedded in student protests,” said the statement. “As an elected government, it would be inappropriate for the NLD to expel a student for political reasons.”

The NNER and ABFSU issued two demands: the reinstatement of Zaw Ye Htut and the amendment of rules that impose suspensions upon students who conduct protests or distribute leaflets.

Speaking to DVB about the case, Dr. Arkar Moe Thu, the chairperson of the Dagon University Teachers Union, said, “Cases where students face prosecution and lose their rights to education should no longer exist in this era. We firmly believe there should be no ‘double jeopardy.’

“Everyone should have a right to pursue education, no matter where they are.”

Members of the ABFSU, commonly known by its acronym Ba Ka Tha, stated that they will stage street protests if their two demands are not met.