HomeAsiaCourt in Myanmar's Mandalay Jails 3 Monks for Financing Terrorism

Court in Myanmar’s Mandalay Jails 3 Monks for Financing Terrorism

A court in Myanmar’s central Mandalay region has handed down 22-year sentences to three Buddhist monks accused of supporting the anti-junta People’s Defense forces, a local resident told RFA on Thursday.

Tuesday’s sentences came after monks from the Taw Kyaung Gyi Monastery in Patheingyi Township were found guilty under Section 50(j) of the Anti-Terrorism Act, which prohibits the financing of terrorist groups.

The local, who did not want to be named for security reasons, said the monks got involved because anti-junta militias often seek refuge in religious buildings, thinking they will be safer.

“A monk is not (a member) of the People’s Defense Forces. The PDF youth set up camp in that monastery and sent drones over the city of Mandalay,” he said.

“The monks probably encouraged them because the locals are involved. The monks host the PDF and collect donations for them.”

RFA has not been able to find out the names of the monks, but the local said one was the chairman of Mandalay’s Madaya Township Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee, established by the government in 1980 to oversee Buddhist clergy.

Another local, who also requested anonymity, told RFA that the three monks are being held at Mandalay’s Obo Prison after the hearing at Mandalay City’s Aungmyaythazan District Court.

Some 18,364 people are currently detained in Myanmar, 6,076 of them serving prison terms, according to the Association of Assistance to Political Prisoners.

Translated by RFA Burmese. Edited by Mike Firn.

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