One of Four Suspects Charged in Myanmar Acid Attack Case

Two of the four suspects were police that allegedly aided attacker in vicious attack in Ayeyarwady region last October.

One of Four Suspects Charged in Myanmar Acid Attack Case

Police in Myanmar’s Ayeyarwady region have charged one of four suspects for their involvement in an acid attack on a businesswoman last October, with the victim and her lawyer saying they did not understand why the other three were not charged, she told RFA on Wednesday.

Leh Leh Win, the 30-year-old victim who filed a criminal complaint on March 19 at Pantanaw Myoma Police Station, said she believes that the attack that occurred outside her central city home on Oct. 24 was carried out by two local residents with the assistance of two police officers.

RFA reported previously that she was hospitalized and underwent several rounds of surgery as medical personnel tried to keep her alive. Though she lost sight in her right eye, doctors were able to save her left eye.

In March, she told RFA that she believed one of her assailants to be a woman with whom she had quarreled on social media in October. She claimed that after the disagreement on Facebook, the woman came to her house and threatened her.

Leh Leh Win then told the police, but an officer said they could not arrest the other woman because she had connections with higher authorities.

The attack occurred three days later. In the complaint, the two civilians are accused of trespassing, obscenity, and criminal intimidation, while the two police officers were charged with criminal intimidation and aiding gambling.

The Pantanaw township court formally charged one of the four persons listed in the complaint Tuesday.

It was not immediately clear to either Leh Leh Win or her lawyer Si Thu Kyaw Min why only one of the four suspects was charged, she told RFA’s Myanmar Service.

“We filed charges against four people, but only Myint Myint Maw was charged under [article] 451 for trespassing, [article] 294 for obscenity, [article] 506 for criminal intimidation, and [article] 114 for abetting,” she said, referring to Myanmar’s penal code.

Leh Leh Win said they still aim to have all four included in the suit.

The court granted bail to Myint Myint Maw, set at 200,000 kyats (U.S. $142). RFA could not confirm if she was the woman with whom Leh Leh Win had an online spat with in October.

RFA tried to contact Leh Leh Win’s lawyer, but he did not respond.

Police were ordered to investigate the case by the Union parliament’s Legal Aid Committee on March 18, one day after Mann Thein Nyunt, Pantanaw’s representative in the lower house, became aware of the incident after viewing content on RFA’s website.

Acid attacks are unusual in Myanmar, although they occur occasionally in other South and Southeast Asian countries.

Reported by Thant Zin Oo for RFA’s Myanmar Service. Translated by Khin Khin Ei. Written in English by Eugene Whong.

Source : Radio Free Asia More   

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Myanmar Arrests Canadian Pastor For Violating Coronavirus Ban on Mass Gatherings

At least 80 people and David Lah were confirmed infected after he held a service in April.

Myanmar Arrests Canadian Pastor For Violating Coronavirus Ban on Mass Gatherings

Authorities in Myanmar arrested a Canadian pastor Wednesday for holding a service in violation of a ban on mass gatherings during the coronavirus outbreak, after which dozens of people became infected.

David Lah, a 43-year-old minister who was born in Myanmar, held a gathering for his congregation on April 7 in Yangon’s Mayangone township during which he told followers that their faith in Christianity would protect them from the virus, according to video of the event.

Lah later tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, as did at least 80 of his congregants.

Myanmar, which has so far confirmed 193 cases and six deaths, declared a ban on mass gatherings in mid-March.

On Wednesday, after spending two weeks in quarantine at the City Hotel Yangon, Lah was brought before Mayangone Township Court Judge Moe Swe where he was charged along with three others under the Natural Disaster and Management Law, which carries a maximum punishment of three years in prison.

“The Mayangone Township Police Station has charged U David Lah aka Saw David Lah,” Moe Swe told members of the media after the hearing.

“We have requested the court remand David Lah during the required police investigation. Today, the court decided to place him in custody at Insein Prison from May 20 to June 3.”

Agence France-Presse quoted a police officer, who declined to be named, as saying Lah’s arrest “was delayed because he was recovering from the disease.”

The three other people charged in connection with organizing the April gathering—Christian priest Saw Kwe Wah, Saw Regeandy, and Wai Tun—are all recuperating from infection and have yet to face the court.

After at least 80 people were confirmed to have been infected with COVID-19 from attending services held by Lah, authorities began testing anyone who had close contact with the pastor. Among those who tested negative was Vice President Henry Van Thio, who is a Christian and had attended a meeting with Lah.

A spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada, which handles the country’s foreign affairs, trade and development portfolios, told RFA on Wednesday that the agency “is aware of the arrest and detention of a Canadian citizen in Myanmar.”

“Canadian officials are in contact with the affected individual and are providing consular services,” the spokesperson said in a statement, adding that no further information could be disclosed due to the country’s Privacy Act.

Christians make up around six percent of Buddhist-majority Myanmar’s population.

Reported by Thant Zin Oo for RFA’s Myanmar Service. Translated by Ye Kaung Myint Maung. Written in English by Joshua Lipes.

Source : Radio Free Asia More   

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