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Human rights activist released from prison

Khaing Myo Tun is greeted by supporters upon his release from Sittwe Prison on 22 February 2018. (PHOTO: DVB)

Khaing Myo Tun, a spokesperson for the Arakan Liberation Party (ALP), walked free from prison this morning after serving an 18-month sentence for criticising the Burmese military.

About a hundred supporters gathered in front of the Sittwe prison compound to greet Khaing Myo Tun upon his release.

Khaing Myo Tun was charged under Section 505 (b) and (c) of the penal code after the ALP had  issued a statement in April 2016, accusing the army of human rights abuses in Rakhine State. He was pronounced guilty on 12 October 2017, but time served was deducted from his sentence.

The ALP report accused the Burmese army of extrajudicial killings of captured enemy combatants, as well as forcing civilians to serve as porters during front-line clashes against the Arakan Army.

The ALP was established in 1967. It signed a state-level ceasefire agreement with the then Thein Sein government in April 2012.

On 15 October 2015, the ALP was among eight groups that signed a Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement with the government.

Following the verdict in October, Khaing Myo Tun said, “There is no justice — I was sentenced to imprisonment while we are moving forward with the nationwide ceasefire. We [the ALP] have signed the state-level ceasefire agreement. I am one of those signatories.”