Statement Calling for Release of Karen Martyrs’ Day Organizers

14 August 2020: The Karen Women’s Organization (KWO) condemns the arrest of three Karen organizers who were brought to a police station for questioning on Karen Martyrs’ Day in Yangon on 12 August 2020. Ma Sein Htwe is being charged under Article 19 of the Peaceful Procession and Peaceful Assembly law for organizing last year’s Karen Martyrs’ Day event. The two young men, Saw Hsar Kwar Lar, and Sa Thein Zaw Min were released from police custody, but are facing charges under Article 20 of the same law. Although the men were discharged, they were told by the authorities to wait for further information about their case within the next 15 days. Every year, Karen people of all ages come together to celebrate our history by paying tribute to our revolutionary leaders, including Saw Ba U Gyi and others. It is unacceptable that the Karen and other ethnic groups cannot hold respective their Martyrs’ Days peacefully.

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