Asia - Pacific

Myanmar military drops case against Christian leader

Pastor faced lawsuit for commenting on religious freedom in Myanmar, during meeting with US President

Kyaw Ye Lynn   | 09.09.2019
Myanmar military drops case against Christian leader

YANGON, Myanmar 

The Myanmar military on Monday dropped a lawsuit against a prominent Christian leader, who had discussed religious freedom with the U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House in July.

Hkalam Samson, chair of the Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC), was facing a criminal charge for telling Trump that the military oppressed Christians in Myanmar.

However, the plaintiff, who is a military official, withdrew the legal case against the Baptist leader, according to Judge Than Tun at a court in Myitkyina, capital of northern Kachin state.

Based in northern Kachin State, the KBC represents Myanmar’s Christian Kachin ethnic group. Christianity is one of the main religion in the state.

“There is no case against him now, as it has been withdrawn by the plaintiff,” Tun told Anadolu Agency on phone.

He said the plaintiff has not elaborated the motive behind withdrawing his complaint.

Monday's decision came after the lawsuit against the Baptist received widespread criticism from advocacy groups as well as from the U.S.

Samson, was among 27 victims of religious persecution from 17 countries, invited to a meeting with Trump on July 17.

"We, Christians in Myanmar, are being oppressed and tortured by the Myanmar military government," he told Trump during a meeting.

"There is no religious freedom in Myanmar," he said in the televised meeting.

He also thanked Trump for imposing the new entry ban on four top Myanmar military leaders and their families for committing human rights violations in Myanmar and atrocities against Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state.

Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.