By Kantarawaddy Times
Burma’s military-appointed State Administration Council (SAC) has convicted 94 of 221 people charged in Karenni State since the army overthrew the democratic government more than a year ago.
According to the civilian watchdog group Progressive Karenni People’s Force (PKPF), most of those charged and convicted were accused of collaborating with the People’s Defence Forces (PDFs) fighting the regime’s armed forces or joining the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) in the Southeast Asian country.
An anonymous member of the PKPF said many were charged with sedition under Article 505 (a) of Burma’s Penal Code, which was revised and used against peaceful dissidents after the coup.
”Some people were arrested for sending food rations to displacement camps, and the Burma Army (BA) arrested more than 70 people after they returned from the area of an ethnic armed organisation where they’d received military training.”
Khu Leh Wah, a teacher, was sentenced to five years imprisonment under Article 52 (a) of the country’s Counterrorism Law for delivering food to internally displaced persons (IDP) camps.
A relative, who asked that her name not be published, said “He’s a normal citizen who was arrested for helping the IDPs. We’re very sad about this and want justice for him.”
127 citizens are still waiting for their verdict or for trial to begin.
Nearly 200,000 have been displaced by BA offensives and fighting with resistance groups in Karenni State, and the regime’s armed forces are targeting people who bring vital rations to the IDPs at risk of starvation.
According to the PKPF, the junta has sentenced 76 people charged with Article 505 (a) to three years’ imprisonment, and five people have been sentenced to two years’ imprisonment. One person charged with Article 505 (b) was sentenced to two years imprisonment, seven people were sentenced to three years under Article 17/1, one person charged with Article 51 (a) received a five-year sentence and four people charged with Articles 505, 124, 50, 52 and 302 received life sentences.
According to Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, 10,183 people have been arrested, charged or convicted in the country since the coup.