Myanmar: Former head of Kachin Baptist Convention sentenced to six years imprisonment, “outrageous travesty of justice”

Monday, April 17, 2023 | Tag Cloud Tags: , , , ,

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by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – A Myanmar/Burma court has sentenced the former President of the Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC), Reverend Dr. Hkalam Samson, to six years in prison for speaking out against human rights abuses perpetrated against the Kachin people by the ruling Burmese military junta Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) reports.

Reverend Samson served as President of the KBC from 2018-2022 and previously for two terms as General Secretary from 2010-2018.

In what CSW describes as an “outrageous travesty of justice,” Samson was sentenced after being found guilty of unlawful association, defaming the State, and terrorism. On his way to Thailand, he was arrested at Mandalay International Airport on 5 December 2022, and has been imprisoned at the Myitkyina prison since then.

In a statement urging action from the international community, Benedict Rogers, CSW’s Senior Analyst for East Asia, said: “This sentence is an outrageous travesty of justice. Reverend Dr. Samson is a completely non-violent Christian pastor and a brave and tireless advocate of justice, human rights, and peace. He has been jailed simply for courageously speaking out against the Myanmar military’s barbaric atrocities perpetrated against the people of Myanmar.

“The international community must speak out strongly to demand his immediate release from prison and intensify efforts to apply targeted sanctions against Myanmar’s illegal military regime until all political prisoners are freed, the military ceases all attacks in the ethnic states, and Myanmar is placed on a path of genuine federal democracy,” Rogers said.

In the throes of civil war for 75 years and currently subject to an oppressive, violent Buddhist military regime, Myanmar ranks 14th on the US Open Doors World Watch List 2023 of the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted.

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