56 Suspects appear in Sittwe Township Court over Alleged Connection with Arakan Army

By Song Zar Chei, 20 July 2019:

Fifty Six suspects’ detainees from six townships of Rakhine State were on Thursday arraigned in Sittwe Township court over an alleged engaging with Arakan Army (AA) that is fighting central Burmese government for more autonomy. 

Among those suspects, (41) villagers are from different regions of Mrauk U, five villagers are from Kyauk Taw, three villagers are from Minbra and each villagers from Pauk Taw, Rathidaung and Ponna Gyunt townships respectively along with two monks.

“There has not come up for trial yet nor charged yet in the court, only appear before the judge in the Sittwe Township court so far. The case was prosecuted in Mrauk Oo district court. The accommodation of police lock up in Mrauk U is not fine for all. It was appealed to transfer to Sittwe District Court by law. We are waiting the decision,” said Daw May Thet Khine, the defender lawyer from Thazin Legal Aid Service.

Meanwhile one teenage suspect from Lark Kar village was taken in Mrauk Oo township court due to under age reason and while the other 23 suspects were on Sittwe Township Court yesterday as three villagers died during military custody in May.

Besides, two young detainees were also put on trial of Sittwe township court yesterday after being arrested on suspicion of engaging in Navy boat attacked at Sat Roe Kyar creek of Sittwe on June 22.

“ My son and another one was left today. He was said to be beaten by my son. No accusation has not made yet so far. They are still being remanded in custody”, said the mother of a suspect from Sittwe of Sat Roe Kyak word.

The numbers of suspects allegedly arrested over linked with Arakan Army have reportedly reached over a hundred in Rakhine State since 2018. Most of the cases involved in charged with under section 50 of the Counter-Terrorism law, section 3 of explosion (manhandle) law and section 17 (1) (2) of unlawful association.