Myanmar’s military has ordered more arrests, with nearly 500 individuals facing charges or sentenced to jail in relation to the burgeoning protests and civil disobedience movement following the February 1 coup, as protesters return to the streets on Thursday following a massive demonstration the previous day.
Some 495 civilian political leaders, activists and protesters have so far been detained or charged, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), which has been tracking detentions in the country over the past two weeks, said in an update on Wednesday night.
Three people have already been convicted to two years in jail and a third for three months, the group said. Some 460 people remain in detention.
The Defend Lawyers website also reported that at least 40 barristers could face prosecution for participating in the anti-coup movement. Many of the country’s lawyers have join the Red Ribbon Campaign calling for the restoration of democracy in the country.
On Thursday, the demonstrators returned to the streets for the 13th straight day of nationwide protests against the coup leaders.
The lawyer couple had last year filed a PIL about the alleged custodial death of a Dalit man, Seelam Rangaiah, who was found hanging in the toilet of the Manthani police station.
A lawyer couple from Telangana was on Wednesday hacked to death by unidentified assailants on a road in broad daylight, near Ramagundam, news reports said.
According to the Hindu, lawyers Gattu Vaman Rao and P.V. Nagamani were attacked around 3 pm while they were returning to Hyderabad in their car after attending a court case in Manthani. They were practising lawyers at the Telangana high court in Hyderabad.
The assailants who were following their car, obstructed it and brutally attacked the couple with machetes, the reports said.
While Nagamani succumbed to her injuries on the spot, Vaman Rao died on the way to the hospital.
The car driver who reportedly fled from the spot is now in police custody for investigation.
A video circulated on social media showed Vaman Rao, while lying on the road with bleeding injuries, taking the name of Kunta Srinu as the person who attacked him and his wife. According to the News Minute, Kunta Srinivas is Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) Manthani’s mandal president. The police are reportedly yet to confirm if Vaman named the same person.
The lawyer couple had filed a PIL about the alleged custodial death of a 53-year-old Dalit man, Seelam Rangaiah, in Manthani police station under Ramagundam police commissionerate. Rangaiah was last year arrested for allegedly hunting wild animals and was found hanging in the toilet of the police station.
The Telangana high court earlier this month extended protection to the couple after they alleged that the police is harassing them for seeking a probe into the custodial death of Rangaiah last year, the News Minute report added. They had alleged they were being harrassed with false cases as they had taken up the case, the report further added. The matter was to be heard in April.
The principal of a Madrasa School has been arrested over links to Attorney-at-Law Hejaaz Hizbullah.
Attorney General Dappula de Livera had earlier directed Inspector General of Police (IGP) C.D Wickremeratne to report facts and produce the Principal of the Madrasa School, Mohammed Shakeel before the relevant Magistrate’s Court for allegedly abetting Hejaaz Hizbullah on charges under section 2 (1) (h) of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and section 3(1) of the ICCPR Act.
Accordingly, the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) arrested Mohammed Shakeel.
Earlier today, the AG directed the IGP to report facts on the case linked to detained human rights activist and Attorney-at-Law Hejaaz Hizbullah.
The AG’s Coordinating Officer State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne told Colombo Gazette that IGP C. D. Wickremeratne was further directed to produce Hizbullah before the relevant Magistrate’s Court.
Hizbullah will be presented in Court on charges filed under Section 2(1) (h) of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and Section 3(1) of the International Covenant On Civil And Political Rights (ICCPR) Act.
The human rights lawyer has been held at the Criminal Investigation Department headquarters in Colombo since his arrest on 14 April 2020, with restricted access to his lawyers, family and wife.
Hizbullah was arrested on charges of allegedly “aiding and abetting” one of the bombers involved in the 2019 Easter Sunday terror attacks.