Sun, Oct 26, 2008 - Page 4 News List

Myanmar court sends six NLD members to prison

DEMOCRACY ACTIVISTS The court convicted the six of promoting hatred and sentenced them to jail terms ranging from two to 13 years, a party spokesman said

AP , YANGON, MYANMAR

A court in military-ruled Myanmar handed down prison sentences to six opposition party members who were arrested after last year’s pro-democracy demonstrations, a party spokesman said.

On Friday, a Mandalay court convicted the six of rousing public alarm and promoting hatred, and sentenced them to prison terms ranging from two to 13 years, said Nyan Win, a spokesman for the National League for Democracy (NLD).

Pro-democracy protests raged across the country in September last year, before they were violently crushed by the army, leaving at least 31 people dead, the UN said.

Thousands of people were arrested.

The party is led by detained Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who marked 13 years total under house arrest on Thursday.

“A special court inside Mandalay Oakpho prison sentenced all six NLD members today,” said a relative of defendant Win Mya Mya, a prominent organizing committee member of the Mandalay branch of the party.

The relative, who asked not to be named to avoid the attention of the authorities, said the activists were tried before a special court in proceedings that began in August.

Family members were not allowed to attend.

“It was totally unfair and unlawful” Nyan Win said.

“All of them are very active members of the party and the authorities have crushed them politically by meting out lengthy prison sentences,” Nyan Win said.

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