20 years for blogger Nay Phone Latt

Nov 11, 2008 (DVB)-Burmese authorities on Monday sentenced blogger Nay Phone Latt who was arrested early this year to 20 years in prison, his family said.

Nay Phone Latt, 29, and female colleague Thin July Kyaw were arrested by authorities in January this year during a round up of activists in connection with monk-led protests in September last year.

Daw Aye Aye Than, mother of Nay Phone Latt said her son was sentenced to 20 and a half years in prison on three counts including charges under violation of electronic acts and crime against public tranquility, while Thin July Kyaw was given two and half years at a court inside notorious Insein prison.

"I was not allowed to enter the courtroom so I had to learn from the judge when the trial was over how many years they gave my son," said Aye Aye Than.

"Thin July Kyaw was also given two and half years prison term under video and sedition acts."

Nay Phone Latt is also a youth member of the National League for Democracy and runs several internet cafes in Rangoon. He is the first ever blogger to be arrested and imprisoned in Burma, according to his mother.

His lawyer U Aung Thein was sentenced to four months’ imprisonment with another colleague U Khin Maung Shein on 7 November for ‘contempt of court’.

Reporters Without Frontiers and Burma Media Association condemn the junta for the action, and call on all bloggers and poets around the world to show solidarity with Nay Phone Latt and an imprisoned poet Saw Wai.

Reporting by Aye Nai

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