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Youth and student unions vow to free arrested Burmese activist

UPDATE from Mizzima News: Latpadaung activist Phyu Hnin Htwe released (16 October 2014)

This article was originally published on mizzima.com on 3 October 2014.

The All Burma Federation of Youth Unions and the All Burma Federation of Student Unions have joined forces in an effort to free activist Ma Phyu Hnin Htwe, who they claim has been falsely accused of the abduction of two Chinese copper mine workers and is currently in jail facing trial.

Ko Tun Tun Win, temporary chairman of the ABFYU told Mizzima on October 2 that the two bodies have decided to cooperate for the release of the first year distance learning student who is a member of the ABFSU.

"We will demand the earliest release of Ma Phyu Hnin Htwe and we will express these wishes at the district court on October 13."

Phyu Hnin Htwe faces prosecution at the Yinmabin District court, accused of participating in the unlawful detention of two Chinese citizens, employees of the Wenbao Company that runs the controversial copper mine in Letpadaung. The mine has been the site of clashes with local people over alleged issues of land confiscation, threats to locals' health and the environment.

On May 18, three workers were allegedly kidnapped by villagers who claim their land has been confiscated for the mine, one Myanmar national was released but the two Chinese workers were held overnight until an agreement was reached with the local authorities. Ma Phyu Hnin Htwe claims she had no involvement in the matter.

"Unfair action is being taken over Ma Phyu Hnin Htwe with the aim of implicating blame on the ABFSU. So we will join hands with the ABFSU to free her," said Ko Tun Tun Win.

The ABFSU released a five-point statement about the case of Phyu Hnin Htwe on September 23.

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