Press conference held for released pastors

San Lat / February 22, 2020

A press conference was held at the Myitkyina office of the Kachin Baptist Association yesterday for its pastors who were recently released from the prison, explaining the details of their experience in custody.

We’re released because the successful negotiation between Burma Army and Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC), Peace Creation Group (PCG) and Kachin National Consultative Assembly (KNCA), said Rev. Bima Dau Lum who was one of the detainee.

Rev. Lum and Sumlut Tu Htang, a youth leader from Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC), were detained five days at police cell and eleven days at the prison. Both of them released from Myitkyina prison on Thursday. Rev. Lum said that both of them received fair treatment form the police and prison authorities during their detention.

Rev. Lum and Tu Htang were arrested by the local police in the early of this month by accusing them of displaying the play of the Kachin Independence Organization’s (KIO) history at the 60th anniversary of Kachin Revolution Day event on February 5th. The event was held near the Kachin State capital Myitkyina and believed to be the first Kachin Revolution Day event outside of KIO’s control territory.

Burma Army filed a lawsuit against Rev. Lum and Tu Htang for accusing them of having connection with resistant organization KIO. Burma Army later dropped the lawsuit after having a meeting with KBC Chairman Rev. Dr. Hkalam Samson and leaders from PCG and KNCA.

In September of last year, the Burma Army filed a lawsuit against Rev. Samson who made a negative remarks against the military institution while he was in the Oval Office meeting with U.S President Donald Trump. Burma Army later withdrew the lawsuit.

San Lat is a reporter based in Myitkyina, Kachin State.