Mandalay activist sentenced to a further 22 years in prison

Sue Sha Shinn Thant has already received a 3-year sentence and faces further charges.
By RFA Burmese
2022.12.14
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Mandalay activist sentenced to a further 22 years in prison Activist Sue Sha Shinn Thant.
LGBT Mandalay

UPDATED AT 8:47 a.m. ET ON 12-14-2022

Prominent Myanmar LGBTQ activist Sue Sha Shinn Thant has been sentenced to 22 years in prison by a junta court in Mandalay.

Obo Prison Court handed down the sentence on Monday for allegedly violating Section 505 (b) of Myanmar’s Penal code for inciting sedition against the State, and Section 50 (j) of the Counter Terrorism Law for aiding and abetting murder.

She had already received a three-year sentence for allegedly inciting sedition against the military.

“She has been sentenced to three years in prison for 505(a) this year. Now it is another two years in prison for 505 (b) and 20 years for violence, so an additional 22 years. She has been sentenced to a total of 25 years in prison,” a person close to her family, who wished to remain anonymous for safety reasons, told RFA.

Sue Sha Shinn Thant was arrested in Mandalay after junta troops ran her over in a vehicle on Oct. 2, 2021.

She still faces three remaining cases for alleged incitement to murder under Section 302/114 of the Penal Code.

A Mandalay-based lawyer who knows Sue Sha Shinn Thant said the activist is innocent of all the charges. The lawyer, who did not want to be named for security reasons, told RFA the junta hands out long terms to young anti-dictatorship activists to keep them in prison so they cannot fight against military rule.

“Anyone who opposes the junta is arrested, sentenced to a long prison term and forced to remain in prison,” he said. “In other words, the junta have put her in prison till she dies because they are afraid of the youths who oppose them on the street.”

Sue Sha Shinn Thant has been held in Obo Prison since her arrest and sources close to her family say they have been sending food and medicine to her according to the prison’s rules.

She is a transgender woman who has campaigned for the Prevention of Violence Against Woman Bill in Myanmar.

She was a union-level representative in the Mandalay Region Youth Affairs Committee before the military seized power on Feb. 1, 2021.

Since the coup Sue Sha Shinn Thant played a leading role in anti-dictatorship protests in Mandalay.

A total of 16,549 people have been arrested by the junta for their role in the pro-democracy movement in the 22 months since the coup, according to Thai-based watchdog the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners. Of that number 13,076 are still being held in prisons across the country.

Correction: An earlier version of this story referred to Sue Sha Shinn Thant as a pro-democracy activist.

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