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13 accused absent from court for security reasons
The 13 people who have been detained in Sittwe prison to face trial in Kyauktaw township court for unlawful association charges could not attend a court hearing on Monday due to security issues,
01 Apr 2019
Khaing Roe La/ DMG
April 1, Sittwe
The 13 people who have been detained in Sittwe prison to face trial in Kyauktaw township court for unlawful association charges could not attend a court hearing on Monday due to security issues, according to their lawyers.
A military officer charged 11 people from Shin Let Wa village and 2 people from Kyauktaw town under section 17 (1) and (2) of the Unlawful Associations’ Act.
But they were not taken to the court hearing on April 1 because it was not safe to transport them due to regional instability.
“Police did not transport them to Kyauktaw for a court hearing on the grounds of weak security. They did not appear in court last week also,” said U Tun Hla, lawyer for the accused.
It was the fourth court hearing, and the lawyer visited Sittwe prison but did not get a chance to see them.
Not allowing him to meet with the accused was detrimental to his clients, the lawyer said.
“I can understand the difficulty of transporting them to the court, but denying visitation rights to their lawyer is inexcusable. I think it’s breaching the rights of my clients. Furthermore, it takes away my rights to have access to them,” he said.
Major Naing Aung Phyo from No. 375 Battalion based in Kyauktaw filed the case to charge them. They have been charged since February 18 in the Kyauktaw township court.
The Myanmar government have declared The Arakan Army (AA) armed insurgents, and the fighting between the two groups continues unabated, while the number of people being arrested under the Unlawful Association Act for allegedly having contact with the AA has been increasing in Rakhine State.