2 Myanmar pastors sentenced to prison for supporting rebels

A Myanmar court has sentenced two ethnic Kachin Baptist pastors to prison terms on charges of supporting rebels and defaming the military.

The two were detained by the army in northern Shan state in December after they were initially reported missing following heavy fighting between the government and a coalition of Kachin and three other ethnic guerrilla groups.

Pastor Dumdaw Nawng Lat and Baptist youth leader Langjaw Gam Seng helped journalists cover the aftermath of a military offensive in Mongko town where a Catholic church was bombed and destroyed in an airstrike in November 2016. The military later accused them of providing support to an ethnic armed group.

Nawng Lat was sentenced to 4 years and 3 months in prison and Gam Seng to 2 years and 3 months.