Ko Htin Kyaw
Detained Since: October 26, 2016.
Charges: Making, publishing or circulating a statement, rumor or report that may impede a member of the Tatmadaw [Burmese Army] in the execution of their duty.
Sentence: Two years in prison with hard labor.
Biography: Ko Htin Kyaw is a political activist and director of the Movement for Democracy Current Force (MDCF), a community-based organization in Burma. He was arrested on May 5, 2014, for his peaceful activism in South Okkalapa Township in Yangon. MDCF held a demonstration in April 2014 calling for the return of land that had been illegally seized by the Burmese government earlier in the year. The Burmese government claimed that the demonstration was a threat to national security and charged him with making statements conducive to public mischief and violating laws of peaceful assembly. He was charged with multiple offenses "against the State or against public tranquility" under Section 505 (b) and Section 18 of the Peaceful Protests and Procession Law, and was sentenced to 13 years and 10 months. He was released in April 2016 under an amnesty granted by President U Htin Kyaw. However, he was rearrested on October 26, 2016, and taken to Insein Prison, after being alleged to have used offensive language when he accused the military of committing human rights abuses with impunity while outside a court in Rangoon. He was released from prison after the Myanmar Army announced on September 1, 2017 that all charges against him and other named activists and journalists were to be dropped. In late August 2018 he was arrested once again minutes after he stood in front of Yangon's City Hall and held up a placard saying "UN and ICC -- come quick and arrest Myanmar's murderous generals." In June 2019, Htin Kyaw was sentenced to two years' imprisonment with hard labor under Section 505(b) of the Penal Code.
Ko Htin Kyaw was RELEASED in April 2020.
According to reporting from human rights organizations on the ground, Ko Htin Kyaw was released in April 2020 after a presidential pardon.