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Anti-Muslim monk in Myanmar declared fugitive

Wirathu, described by Times magazine as ‘Face of Buddhist Terror’, failed to show up at court on Tuesday

By Kyaw Ye Lynn   | 04.06.2019
Anti-Muslim monk in Myanmar declared fugitive

YANGON, Myanmar 

A Myanmar court on Tuesday declared a firebrand anti-Muslim radical monk “fugitive” after police failed to apprehend him under the sedition charge.

A judge at Yangon Western District Court issued a new arrest warrant for Wirathu, described by Time magazine as "the Face of Buddhist Terror" for anti-Muslim sentiment, after he failed to show up at court by Tuesday, said Col. Myo Thu from police headquarters in Nay Pyi Taw.

"This mean that the court classified him as fugitive, and anyone -- not limited to police -- can arrest him," he told Anadolu Agency by phone on Tuesday.

The warrant states that police have to bring Wirathu before the country by June 11.

The warrants were issued by a judge for attempts to incite disaffection toward the Myanmar government, said Myo Thu, adding the charge carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment, fine or both.

Wirathu had told the local media that he would face the charge, but later changed his mind and went on hiding.

He is now with armed rebel group in Kayin state bordering Thailand, according to a report by Radio Free Asia Burmese service on Tuesday.

Wirathu has taken a leading role in spreading anti-Muslim sentiment among the country’s Buddhist majority since communal violence broken out in Rakhine State in mid-2012.

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