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The Women’s League of Burma Condemns the Violent Handling and Arrest of Peaceful Women Activists in Monywa

By Women's League of Burma  •  August 14, 2013

The Women’s League of Burma strongly condemns the violent handling and arrest of Naw Ohn Hla and nine other women who were staging a peaceful protest against the Letpadaung copper mine in Monywa on August 13.

Naw Ohn Hla, a leading woman activist from Yangon, and over 50 local villagers were gathering in downtown Monywa to call for the suspension of the controversial Chinese-backed copper mine and to amend the 2008 constitution, when they were surrounded by several hundred police. After a tense stand-off, police moved in to arrest Naw Ohn Hla and other protest leaders, pulling them into the back of police trucks. Naw Ohn Hla was seized so violently that her clothing was partially pulled off.

The activists are currently being held in Monywa No. 1 police station. About 60 villagers have been staging a sit-in next to the police station in protest at the arrests.

Naw Ohn Hla has been charged under Section 18 of the Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession Law, for holding a protest without permission.  She had requested official permission prior to the protest, but had been refused.

“This violent and degrading treatment of peaceful women activists is a disgrace. It lays bare the hypocrisy of the government’s democratic reform process,“ said Daw Tin Tin Nyo, General Secretary of the Women’s League of Burma.

The Women’s League of Burma (WLB) urges the Burmese government to immediately and unconditionally release Naw Ohn Hla and the other nine protesters arrested in Monywa, and to allow citizens their right to peaceful assembly.

The WLB is also calling for the release of other women activists recently detained, including Daw Khin Mi Mi Khaing and Daw Myint Myint Aye, imprisoned without bail since June 11, 2013, for supporting farmers whose lands had been confiscated in Bago Division; and Daw Bauk Jar, arrested since July 18, 2013, who has been campaigning against land confiscation in Kachin State’s Hukawng Valley.

Contact persons:
Daw Tin Tin Nyo (General Secretary)  – +6681 0322 882
Mae Su Su Swe (Presidium Board Member) – +6682 408 4397

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This post is in: Environmental and Economic Justice, People's Voices, Press Release

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