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88 generation student leaders sentenced to six months imprisonment

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Myanmar court sentences 9 activists to prison
eTaiwan News, Taiwan –
The nine activists were leaders of the 88 Generation Students group which helped organize last year’s pro-democracy demonstrations, …

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Myanmar court sentences 9 activists to prison

Associated Press
2008-10-30 03:23 PM

A court in military-ruled Myanmar sentenced nine activists to six months in prison for interrupting a judge during a closed trial held inside a prison, a lawyer said Thursday.The presiding judge at the trial in Yangon’s notorious Insein Prison ruled Wednesday that the activists had “interrupted a public servant at a judicial proceeding” by repeatedly asking for an open trial that relatives could attend, said attorney Aung Thein, one of three lawyers for the activists.

“The lawyers were asked to leave the courtroom and all nine of them were given six-month sentences,” Aung Thein said.

The nine activists were leaders of the 88 Generation Students group which helped organize last year’s pro-democracy demonstrations, the biggest anti-government movement in two decades.

Most of the nine were arrested Aug. 21, 2007, along with other activists for staging a street protest against a massive fuel-price hike. Those protests led to large street rallies led by Buddhist monks which were violently suppressed by the military in September 2007.

The nine activists given jail sentences were Min Ko Naing, Ko Ko Gyi, Mya Aye, Pyone Cho, Htay Kywe, Nyan Lin, Aung Thu, Hla Myo Naung and Yan Myo Naing.

They are among 35 well-known activists from the 88 Generation Students group on trial facing several charges, including violating a law that bans demonstrations, speeches or written statements that could undermine stability. It is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Separately, Nyi Nyi Htway, a lawyer who was serving as defense lawyer for 11 other activists who took part in the protests, was arrested Tuesday and charged with violating the same law, Aung Thein said.

Rights groups say that hundreds of people arrested during last year’s pro-democracy protests remain imprisoned.

Members of the 88 Generation Students were at the forefront of a 1988 pro-democracy uprising and were subjected to lengthy prison terms and torture after the rebellion was brutally suppressed by the military.

http://www.etaiwannews.com/etn/news_content.php?id=776500

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

October 30, 2008 at 4:22 pm

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