Elderly Baptist Pastor Put in Jail for ‘Spying’ in Myanmar

One of two assistant pastors arrested by the Myanmar army last Christmas Eve is suffering deteriorating health from malnutrition, sources have told Morning Star News.

Pastor Dom Dawng Nawng Latt, 65, has become weak, lacks energy and suffers from asthma and diarrhea, according to his wife, a lawyer for Nawng Latt and fellow pastor La Jaw Gam Hseng, 35, who is on trial with him. “He lacks nutrition,” attorney U Brang Di told Morning Star News. “As he is old, it makes it worse. He seems very weak.”

Morning Star News reports that the two assistant pastors were arrested in Myanmar, formerly called Burma, for helping local journalists cover attacks on a Catholic church building in northern Shan state, in eastern Myanmar, in November 2016.

On Dec. 24, they went to the Byuha Gon military base to negotiate the release of a civilian couple who had complained to army officials about the destruction of their house, but military officials released the couple and detained the clergymen, sources said.

The attorney said suspects can normally be held for only 28 days without trial under Myanmar law. The two pastors finally appeared at a trial hearing in Lashio on May 3.

Morning Star News said a Myanmar army prosecutor has charged the two pastors under the Unlawful Association Act with “recruiting and spying for armed ethnic groups” such as the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), the second largest ethnic armed group in Myanmar. The two Kachin Baptist Convention pastors, along with other denominational leaders, deny the charge.

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Source: Charisma News