2014 has seen a backsliding of the reform process in Burma, including a doubling of the number of political prisoners, and hundreds more activists are awaiting trials.
Aung Soe, a human rights activist, has been repeatedly arrested and jailed for his peaceful political activities. He was arrested on 18th May 2014 for his involvement in anti-land-grab protests in Mandalay. He was charged under three different counts, including under section 505(b) of the penal code for "committing or inducing others to commit an offense against the State or against the public tranquility".
Aung Soe is a member of Yangon People's Support Network and a former political prisoner. He has been arrested numerous times for his peaceful activities. In 2013, he was arrested and sentenced to eleven and a half years in prison for his part organising protests with farmers to plough land which had been confiscated by the Burmese government. He was released on 15th November 2013 under a presidential amnesty.
After his release, he continued his political activities, and he was arrested again on 18th May 2014. He was arrested for his involvement in protests against land grabbing in Mandalay. He was charged with three different counts including under Article 145 for "Joining or continuing in unlawful assembly, knowing it has been commanded to disperse." He was also charged under Section 505 (b) of Burma Penal's Code.
Section 505(b) is one of the repressive laws which the military-backed government uses to jail democracy activists for committing or inducing others "to commit an offence against the State or against the public tranquility."
On 6th August 2014, Aung Soe was sentenced to one year and six months under Section 505 (B), one year and six months under Article 145, and six months under Article 143. He is now serving a total sentence of three years and six months in Obo Prison, Mandalay.