Junta Charges Former KBC Leader In Myitkyina

The military government has charged a former leader of the Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC) after arresting him last month and holding him in a secret location that not even his family and close friends knew about.

Rev Dr Hkalam Samson was charged with associating with an illegal organisation and incitement under Articles 17 (1) and 505 (a) of Burma’s Penal Code at a court appearance held in Myitkyina Prison on 11 January.

According to an anonymous source, he was allowed to consult with his lawyers before being remanded in custody until his next court appearance on Friday 13 January. But KBC members and Hkalam Samson’s family were barred from joining the proceedings and visiting him later in the prison.

Hkalam Samson was arrested at Mandalay International Airport on 5 December while travelling to Bangkok for medical treatment. He was held in an interrogation centre for 24 days before being taken to the prison in the Kachin State capital on 28 December.

Hkalam Samson was chair and secretary of the KBC for 12 years. He’s still involved with KBC as an advisor and the current chair of the Kachin National Consultative Council. A position previously held by Duwa Lashi La before he resigned after the coup to become president of the exiled National Unity Government.

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