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Myanmar: Activist poet Maung Saungkha convicted by court for protesting against internet shutdown

The poet and activist Maung Saungkha was convicted by local Myanmar court for violating the Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession Law.

Maung Saungkha was arrested in connection with a June 21 protest in Yangon City which featured the unfurling of a banner that read: “Is the internet being shut down to hide war crimes and killing people?”

Saungkha, a co-founder of the research-based free expression advocacy group Athan.

A police officer testified against him, saying the activist had organised a protest without informing authorities. His sentencing was announced on September 4, when he was asked by the court to choose between serving a 15-day jail term or paying a fine of 30,000 Kyat.

Athan and other civil society groups have been petitioning the government to restore full internet connectivity in Rakhine, especially as local residents need to access vital public health information about Covid-19.

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