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Dhaka Tribune

Myanmar jails four Muslims for riot murder

Update : 10 Jul 2013, 10:24 AM

Four Muslim men have been jailed for murder following religious violence in central Myanmar in March that left dozens dead, an official said Wednesday. The defendants were given sentences of between seven years and life imprisonment for their part in the deadly rioting in the town of Meiktila that mainly targeted Muslims and spread elsewhere in the Buddhist-dominated country.

“Four persons were sentenced yesterday (Tuesday) for murder,” Meiktila district chairman Tin Maung Soe told AFP. He confirmed that all the men were Muslim, but declined to give the religious background of the victims.

All four were found guilty of the murder of a student during the unrest. Three of the defendants were also convicted over the killing of a local man.

Thousands of local Muslims were driven from their homes during the violence as Buddhist mobs torched whole neighbourhoods, destroyed shops and damaged mosques.

Two Buddhists were recently sentenced to seven years in prison for murder. They were the first Buddhists known to be sentenced for serious offences over the rioting, which left at least 44 people dead.

Human rights groups have accused the police of being slow to stop the killings, while activists have called on authorities to fully investigate and prosecute those responsible.

At least 14 Muslims have so far been given jail terms for serious offences during the rioting.

Three Muslims, including a gold shop owner, were jailed for 14 years in April for assaulting a Buddhist customer in a quarrel that apparently sparked the initial violence.

State media recently said 49 people were on trial for murder, with scores more facing court for their roles in the unrest.  

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