Lin Htet Naing, a Burmese student activist, was imprisoned for the fourth time by Myanmar government forces in June 2022 after the regime accused him of incitement to mutiny. According to Human Rights Watch, Naing’s arraignment under Article 505(A) has been frequently instrumentalized by the regime as part of its post-coup code revisions that have increased the repression of free speech, assembly, and expression, particularly among students and activists. Naing is currently incarcerated in Insein Prison in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest detention center notorious for detaining political prisoners.
Naing has long been the target of the Burmese regime and has spent his adult life in and out of prison. He remains detained along with 13,000 other Burmese citizens who have been unjustly arrested by the junta following the coup in 2021. Naing was first imprisoned for taking part in the Saffron Revolution, alongside his spouse, Phyoe Phyoe Aung, in 2008. He was re-imprisoned again in 2015 and 2020, both imprisonments were previously reported by Endangered Scholars Worldwide (ESW). His spouse, according to BBC, has “been on the run” since taking part in coup protests last year.
Naing’s mother was tragically killed in a blast at Insein Prison, alongside seven others, during a visit to see her son in October 2022. Such incidents are unfortunately common in Myanmar; bombings are reported nearly every day as anti-government guerilla groups attempt to target members of the regime, and members of the junta have also been accused of provoking shootings and blasts to “discredit the resistance movement,” according to AP. Naing’s appeal to attend his mother’s funeral was denied.
Endangered Scholars Worldwide (ESW) condemns the junta’s treatment and continual imprisonment of Lin Htet Naing and all those who exercise their right to speech, assembly, and protest to struggle for freedom and democracy in Myanmar. We also endorse the UN High Commissioner's actions in investigating the closed-door trials that stand to conceal unjust decision-making resulting in violations of Burmese civilians’ rights to a fair trial and peaceful protest. ESW calls upon all international organizations, academic and professional associations, and other groups and individuals devoted to the promotion and defense of human rights to strongly protest and condemn Naing’s and all political prisoners’ imprisonment; to ask for their immediate and unconditional release upon appeal; and to stand in solidarity with the Burmese people, who continue to oppose the military regime that illegitimately interrupted democratic politics in the country.
Please send appeals to the following:
Ambassador Aung Lynn
Embassy of Myanmar (Burma)
2300 S Street, NW, Washington DC 20008, USA
(202) 332-3344, (202) 332-4350, (202) 332-4352
Kyaw Moe Tun
Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to the United Nations
10 E 77th St, New York, NY 10075, USA