Myanmar opposition activists sentenced to prison for 2007 demonstrations

[JURIST] A Myanmar court sentenced six leading opposition activists to prison terms Friday in connection with their involvement in pro-democracy demonstrations during the abortive 2007 Saffron Revolution [Independent backgrounder]. All six are members of the National League for Democracy (NLD) and each was sentenced to between two and 13 years, according to Nyan Win, a spokesman for the NLP. Senior party leader Win Mya Mya, along with another party member, was sentenced to 12 years. According to Nyan Win, they were all charged with "inciting people to harm the peace of the state" under Section 505(B) and Section 153(A) of the Myanmar criminal code [Penal Code text]. Win said that the NLD will soon appeal. This comes just one day after party leader Aung San Suu Kyi [BBC profile, JURIST news archive] completed her thirteenth full year under house arrest. AP has more. The Bangkok Post has additional coverage.

In June, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) criticized Myanmar [JURIST report] for its continued human rights abuses and refusal to cooperate with humanitarian groups. The resolution called on the Myanmar government to free political prisoners, stop recruiting child soldiers and implement earlier UNHRC resolutions regarding the country's human rights situation. Earlier this month, new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem (Navi) Pillay [official profile] said during a news conference [UN News Centre report; JURIST report] that Myanmar continues to incarcerate an estimated 2,000 political prisoners, even after more than 9,000 prisoners were released [JURIST report] last month. In particular, Pillay condemned the continued imprisonment of Suu Kyi, calling the detention illegal "even in respect of [Myanmar's] laws."



 

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