14 Jan Two more protesters charged over Letpadaung mine

Written by AFP Published in Latpadaung Read 3849 times
Policemen stand guard behind the barricades as protesters stand on other side near Chinese Embassy during a protest march demanding the justice on Chinese-backed copper mine crack down, Yangon, Myanmar, 29 December 2014. EPA/LYNN BO BO

YANGON (AFP) - Two more protesters opposed to the Letpadaung copper mine have been charged with offences that could see them jailed for up to five years, a lawyer said January 13.

Police are now prosecuting six people arrested in Yangon in protests last month against the mine venture in Monywa, Sagaing Region, backed by Chinese copper mining company Wenbao, which has been dogged by complaints of land-grabbing and environmental damage.

"Six people are now charged and police are looking for evidence against two others," lawyer U Robert San Aung told AFP after a hearing in Yangon's Dagon township.

Small but regular demonstrations have been held in recent weeks outside the Chinese embassy in Yangon and its consulate in Mandalay following the fatal shooting last month of a female protester near the Letpadaung mine.

Daw Khin Win, in her 50s, was killed on December 22 when police opened fire on protesters trying to stop the mine company building a fence in territory disputed with local farmers.

Four of the Yangon protesters, who have been held in Yangon’s Insein prison since late December, had already been charged.

U Robert San Aung said the six anti-Letpadaung protesters have been charged with serious public order offences, including obstructing police and "harming the image of the nation".

"The charges are disproportionate. They are facing between four and five years in prison," he said.

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Last modified on Wednesday, 14 January 2015 10:57