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Burma/Myanmar: Human rights defender Su Su Nway detained on old charges

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On December 9 2015, Su Su Nway appeared at a local court in Pyin Oo Lwin, facing a charge for a protest against land grabs she organised in 2014.


Su Su Nway is a labour and land rights defender and chairperson of Myanmar's Farmers Union. In 2005 she filed a complaint against the government's long-standing practice of forced labour, which led to the successful prosecution of several government representatives. Subsequently, she was sentenced to 18 months in prison on charges of 'using abusive language against the authorities'. Following her release from prison in June 2006, she took an active part in the protests against the government in August 2007 and was sentenced to another 8 years in Hkamti prison. Since her release under amnesty in October 2011, Su Su Nway has been involved in the defence of labour rights.

On December 9 Su Su Nway appeared in court in Pyin Oo Lwin facing a charge under Article 18 of the Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession Law for a protest she organised a year ago in Pyin Oo Lwin against land grabs by business companies, who also tortured local farmers who originally owned the land. She was arrested on 6 December while on her way to attend a workshop on issues facing local farmers. Su Su Nway had returned to Pyin Oo Lwin numerous times in the past year but the police never took action to detain her.

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