Protesters against Myanmar copper mine charged with inciting unrest, denied release on bail

Demonstrators who protested peacefully against a mining project in northwestern Myanmar have been charged under a law that denies them release on bail.

Aung Thein, the lawyer for two of six activists arrested last week in Yangon, said Tuesday they were charged for inciting unrest, a criminal offense that carries a maximum sentence of two years' imprisonment. The activists' trial began Monday.

Aung Thein said the authorities could have taken action under the peaceful assembly act, which allows street protests if a permit is obtained.

Police last Thursday cracked down on protesters occupying part of the Letpadaung copper mine, which critics claim causes environmental and social damage. Dozens of protesters, including Buddhist monks, suffered burns caused by an incendiary riot-control device.