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Students apply for bail at Myingyan hearing

Eight students and activists arrive at Mingyan District Court in Mandalay division for a hearing on 4 June 2015. (PHOTO: DVB)

One student’s application for bail is to be considered while two others were rejected at a court hearing in Myingyan for eight detainees in connection with their participation in education law protests.

Six of the eight – students Nyan Myint Than and Sithu Myat, and activists Sein Win, Ma Phyu, Kyaw Than Tun and Thant Zin – were arrested for staging a protest on National Armed Forces Day, 27 March, when they denounced a violent crackdown on student demonstrators in Letpadan earlier that month.

The six appeared before a judge at Myingyan District Court, Mandalay Division, where they have been charged under Penal Code articles 143, 145 and 505(b): for joining an unlawful assembly; continuing to be part of an unlawful assembly, defying order to disperse; and sedition, respectively.

Nay Oo Moe Aye, a lawyer representing the two students, said Sithu Myat’s mother on Thursday requested bail for her son, a second year mathematics student, on the basis that his classes recommence in June. The judge accepted the bail application and said he would take into consideration.

“Sithu Myat is set to begin a new university semester in early June and so his mother is requesting that he be released on bail,” the lawyer said, adding that mother and son were permitted to speak to each other at the courthouse as per a request.

Two other student activists appeared for a separate hearing at Myingyan District Court on Thursday: Soe Hlaing, a second-year at Monywa Technological University in Magwe; and Zin Ko Thant, a fourth-year Burmese major student at Mandalay’s Yadanabon University. Both face charges under the State Flag Law for lowering the national flag during a protest at Myingyan Degree College in January.

Their lawyer Chan Myae said an additional charge was read out at the hearing on 4 June: the Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession Act – for staging a protest without official permission.

Chan Myae said the pair applied for bail but were denied.