Kachin Peace Activist Seng Nu Pan Released from Myanmar Prison

Kachin peace activist Seng Nu Pan was released from Myitkyina prison on the morning of September 16th after finishing her 15-day prison term. She was jailed for her role in organizing a ‘street performance’ to mark the 8th anniversary of the resumption of the Kachin conflict in northern Myanmar. 

Fighting in Kachin and northern Shan State between the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) and the Myanmar army resumed in June 2011 following the collapse of a 17-year ceasefire.  The fighting has displaced many youths.  Some of whom took part in the June 9th event.

Seng Nu Pan and her colleague Paw Lu were charged with violating Article 19 of the peaceful assembly law.  A charge that she and her peers feel was unjustified.  “I felt that I don’t have any guilt because we showed the difficulties of IDP [internally displaced people]. I didn’t have any guilt, therefore, I didn’t pay the fine,” Ma Seng Nu Pan told the Kachin News Group after being released from prison.

The two Kachin youths had the option of paying a 30,000 Kyat fine or choosing prison.

Paw Lu received an extra 3-month sentence on September 6th because he gave a set of broken judicial scales to Justice U Than Tun in the Myitkyina court following the announcement of the pair’s sentence.

“They can arrest us and put us in jail but they cannot arrest our beliefs. They can never put our beliefs in jail,” Seng Nu Pan told the Kachin News Group.

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