Muslims are sentenced to imprisonment for burying their family members’ bodies in Pyay old Muslim cemetery

Dec 12,2012
Htoon Tauk

It is learned that Pyay Township Court sentenced Muslims to imprisonment on Dec 11th. They were charged with burying their family members’ bodies in the old Muslim cemetery in Pyay on July 24th.Those law cases were that Township Administrator U Aung Zaw Htet as a plaintiff sued them under section 118 for burying bodies in Pyay old Muslim graveyard. Within last months, they frequently had appointments at court and were investigated. Although, at the court of law, Township Administrator U Aung Zaw Htet, a complainant, used to behave impudently towards the court, he was not prohibited. The Muslims who were punished with a prison sentence were U Hla Than @ U Kar Sin and Ko Zaw Ko Ko Naing @ Ko Rajuu. Both of them were sentenced to one month’s imprisonment without hard labor.

Though the defendants charged under section 118 were totally three namely Ko Tin Ko Lat, U Hla Than and Ko Zaw Ko Ko Naing, Ko Tin Ko Lat could apply his case to the Union High Court Parliament which is the highest in Myanmar. It replied nothing about his case and thus the rest two who could not submit their cases to the High Court were sentenced to above mentioned imprisonment by Pyay Township Judge Daw Thiri Tin.

“This case is charged under section 118. This section is insubordination. This is not criminal and so directly claimed to the court. As this is not fit for the level of a legal charge, they are sentenced to one month’s imprisonment without hard labor. At the court, we get completely the right to rebut. Yes. Since previous appointments, we had experienced aggressive behavior of Township Administrator U Aung Zaw Htet, who is a plaintiff, almost every time at the court. During being asked at the court, he used to behave such insolent manners as extremely antagonistic behavior, replying mobile phone calling, eating chewing gum and so on. No one forbade him. Yes. Even the judge did not disallow him. Not because of other reasons but because he is the township administrator. I don’t want to tell that the judge is biased. I have difficulties nearly every time. The legal officer, the judge, the plaintiff and I have to very often argue in dialectical manner too much.

For others, the number of appointed days at court is less. But for this case, the appointments are on four days out of five working days a week. Actually this is unimportant case. The case is just being tried to exaggerate because of its relating to social and religious issues.

Yes. The defendants are three. One person made a complaint to the Union High Court Parliament that his case is not according to the law (10/12). Yes. The rest two could not apply because of not fitting to time standard. The High Court is located in Nay Pyi Taw (the capital of Myanmar) and so they cannot afford to go there. That’s why they both were unable to apply”, Daw Aye Thandar said.

Daw Aye Thandar is a higher grade prosecutor who conducted the case as the defendants’ legal representative.

Like such case, Pyay Municipal Deputy Head U Zaw Myo Win as a complainant charged U Maung Maung under municipal act 73 with burying the body of U Thein Han, who is not only NLD Central Executive but also a representative of 1990 parliament, in this cemetery on May 19th. U Maung Maung is the relative of the dead.The registration number of this case in Pyay Township Court was higher offence no. 3667/12.

This cemetery is now over 100 years. Moreover, it is a waqaf land ( i.e someone bought the land and donated to use as a graveyard for Muslims for the sake of Allah). In 2008, Township Administrating Office ordered to close this because the municipal authorities complained that a cemetery should not be situated in the municipal area. As a result, the cemetery was closed by force and a new site was provided. But it is not convenient for Muslim people.

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