Dr. Tun Aung
Dr. Tun Aung is a medical doctor located in Burma. On June 8, 2012, a local member of parliament contacted Dr. Tun Aung and requested his assistance with a rioting crowd at a local mosque in Maungdaw. As a respected community member and the chairman of the Islamic Religious Affairs Council in Maungdaw, the parliament member hoped that Aung might be able to calm the ethnic tensions. Earlier that month, ten Muslims were beaten to death on June 3, 2012 in a retaliatory attack following the rape and murder of a Buddhist Rakhine woman on May 28, 2012. According to eyewitness accounts, Aung attempted to pacify the crowd but it could not be appeased.
The Burmese government pinned the blame for the violence on Aung due to his status as a Muslim community leader. On June 11, he was offered a ride home by an immigration officer, but was instead detained and held incommunicado for several months. Later, he was charged in connection with the riots in Rakhine state, put on trial, and denied the right to witness in his defense or a lawyer of his choice or court appointed lawyer. According to Burma Campaign UK, Dr. Tun Aung was charged for having 100 Chinese Yuan in his wallet, which were a present from his daughter. Additionally, the court convicted him on six other different counts including having a mobile phone with a SIM card from Bangladesh. The court ruled, in the second half of 2012, that he would serve 11 years in prison. However, the prosecution appealed to elongate his sentence on the basis of leniency, and as a result, his term was increased to 17 years. Aung was originally held in Sittwe Prison but on February 6, 2014, he was transferred to Insein Prison in Rangoon and his family is no longer allowed to visit him.
Advocate: Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL, Ret.)
Dr. Tun Aung has been RELEASED.