Court Hearing for Burmese Pastor Who Defied COVID-19 Ban Continues

07/02/2020 Myanmar (International Christian Concern) – The Canadian Burmese pastor who ignored COVID-19 ban and created the largest cluster of confirmed cases in Myanmar, continues to face his trial after his recovery from the novel virus.

Along with one of his followers, they have been charged under the Natural Disaster Management Law for religious gatherings. Granted that the services hosted by him did not have large number of attendants, it still led to at least 80 COVID-19 cases in Yangon, including two deaths.

The Irrawaddy reports that Plaintiff U Ye Win Aung, an administrator in Mayangone Township where the gatherings were held, said pastor David Lah and his followers met for nearly a whole week in early April and broadcast the events live. This prompted Yangon regional COVID-19 Control and Emergency Response Committee to file lawsuits against four people, including pastors David Lah, Saw Kwe Wah, U Saw Ray Gandi and U Wai Tun.

The pastor and U Wai Tun can face up to three years in prison if convicted under Article 25 of the Disaster Management Law. So far twelve witnesses for the plaintiff have testified, and some will continue to do so at the next hearing on July 7.

For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org. 

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