Veteran Myanmar Activist Faces Hate Speech Charges

The prominent democracy activist Ko Mya Aye, who has spent more than three months behind bars since the February coup, faces hate speech charges under Article 505(c) of the Penal Code for incitement, which carries up to two years in prison.

According to his family, the regime filed the case against the Muslim activist based on a 2014 email about his work with ethnic armed organizations, Burman ethno-nationalism and the importance of working together for federal democracy.

The email was found on his seized phone. Article 505 prohibit statements which could incite anyone to commit any offence against anyone or any community.

The former 88 Generation student leader and now a leading member of the Federal Democratic Force group, is one of the activists whose homes were surrounded and detained at gunpoint on Feb. 1, immediately after the coup. More than 100 elected leaders, government officials, activists and politicians were also detained during the military takeover.

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