Kachin Activist Nang Pu Released From Prison

Nang Pu at the entrance of Myitkyina prison on April 5, 2019

‘Even though I have been released from prison, there is still injustice,’ she said.

The authorities released Saranum Nbau Nang Pu from a Myitkyina prison on Friday, cutting short her six-month sentence by two months because of health concerns raised by her defense team.

Nang Pu is one of three Kachin youth who played a leading role in campaigning for the safety of internally displaced communities trapped in Kachin State’s conflict zone last year. All three were convicted of defaming the military—the other two activists, Lum Zawng and Zau Jat, remain in jail.

“I am so happy to be released from prison. At the same time, I feel upset for my colleagues Lum Zawng and Zau Jat, because they aren’t guilty,” Nang Pu told KNG. “I hope they will be released from prison, but the Kachin State court rejected our appeal. Even though I have been released from prison, there is still injustice,” she said.

The Kachin State court held a hearing for their appeal March 29 and agreed to reduce Nang Pu’s sentence because she is in poor health, but did not change the sentences of her colleagues.

The three activists led a public campaign in the Kachin State capital of Myitkyina from April 30-May 8 last year, calling for civilians to be protected during war and for the Burmese armed forces to allow villagers to escape to safety. The military’s Lt-Col Myo Min Oo filed defamation charges against them in the Myitkyina Township court. They were sentenced to six months in prison and fined 500,000 kyat (US$332) each on December 7.