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Burma:– Risk of Criminal Proceedings Against Human Rights Defender Mr Chit Ko Lin

By Frontline Defenders  •  April 10, 2013

On 7 April 2013, Mr Chit Ko Lin was interrogated at Kyaukthadar police station in central Rangoon, following reception of a letter on 6 April from the police station summoning him to appear for questioning. It is reported that Chit Lo Kin is being investigated under Section 353, concerning assaults against public servants, and Section 506, concerning criminal intimidation, of the Penal Code. If he is found guilty under these charges, he faces a maximum sentence of four years.

Chit Ko Lin is a prominent human rights defender and was a former political prisoner. He is currently a member of the Labour Committee at the 1988 Generation Peace and Open Society where he helps train workers on their rights.

On 4 April, Chit Ko Lin went to the Western District Court in Rangoon to observe the hearing concerning Mr Ye Min Oo, a student activist and a Buddhist nationalist. According to information received, Ye Min Oo has been detained since 25 March at Insein prison by the police on charges of creating anti-Muslim sentiment in central Burma. At the court, Ye Min Oo was allowed five minutes to meet with his family members. Chit Ko Lin was also there to meet with him. The human rights defender demanded that police grant more time for his friends and family members to talk to him. During the discussion with police, he and other human rights defenders were pushed against a police car.

During the interrogation which took place from 11.30am to 12.30pm on 7 April at Kyaukthadar police station, Mr Thein Naing, the police officer in charge of the case accused the human rights defender of breaking the law by inciting the crowd outside the court to beat the police and demanding the police officers should resign. Chit Ko Lin rejected all accusations against him. He has footage of the incidents which he showed to Thein Naing. After the interrogation finished, the human rights defender was asked to sign a letter saying that he will appear in court if such a request is made. The police officer told him that he will have to appear before the court after the Water Festival which ends on 21 April.

Front Line Defenders believes that the case against Chit Ko Lin is directly related to his work as a human rights defender, and wishes to express its concern regarding this act of judicial harassment against him.

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This post is in: Press Release

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