Recent arrests of student activists tied to election stance: Kyaw Ko Ko

All Burma Federation of Student Unions chairman Kyaw Ko Ko / Photo / Aung Naing Soe

Five student activists went on trial yesterday in Kamaryut Township in connection with protests in March against an unpopular education bill and a police crackdown on demonstrators.

Four men and one woman from the All Burma Federation of Student Unions were arrested at different times. Two were found, charged and sent to jail within the past week.

Speaking from behind a fence at court, ABFSU chairman Kyaw Ko Ko, arrested on October 29, told journalists that authorities were not happy with their stance on the upcoming election on November 8.

“They arrested us not only because we were involved in politics but also because of our ABFSU’s policy that we objected to the election that will be held according to the 2008 constitution,” he said.

Drafted by the junta, the much-condemned constitution contains the clause barring anyone with a foreign spouse or children from becoming president. Aung San Suu Kyi’s two sons are British citizens.

Supporters came out to court and held signs asking for authorities to release the detainees.

The trial was slightly overshadowed by the appearance and subsequent arrest of Maung Saungkha, the poet who was in hiding after writing a verse about having a tattoo of the president on his penis.

The activists will return to court on November 19, their lawyer said yesterday.

Photos / Aung Naing Soe

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