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Incarcerated political activist Naw Ohn Hla has been handed an additional six-month sentence for allegedly disturbing religious assembly eight years ago.
The charge relates to Naw Ohn Hla’s ‘Tuesday prayer sessions’, a weekly silent protest held in 2007 calling for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi who was then under house arrest by the ruling military junta.
Naw Ohn Hla’s lawyer Kyaw Latt Soe on Friday confirmed that the activist’s current sentence of four years and four months had been “extended by six months with hard labour.”
He insisted that his client was the victim in this case, as her religious assembly was repeatedly targeted and harassed by government officials.
“The verdict was quite unfair, it was Daw Naw Ohn Hla who was on the receiving end of the harassment. The police and the pagoda trustee on several occasions sprayed acid water on the spot where the activists sat down for prayer and often pulled them into vehicles for questioning,” said the lawyer.
“As there was no transparency or accountability for government actions back then, the officials were pretty much allowed to do whatever they want and Daw Naw Ohn Hla stood against it with no fear.”
Naw Ohn Hla is currently incarcerated for staging a demonstration outside the Chinese embassy against the Latpadaung copper mining project. She and six others were protesting the death of Latpadaung villager Khin Win, who died of a gunshot wound to the head during a confrontation with the police at the mining site.
The veteran activist is also facing additional charges of the Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession Law Article 18 in Ahlone, Kyauktada and Sanchaung Townships concerning the same protest for rallying across their jurisdictions without official permission.
Read more about Naw Ohn Hla HERE