88 Students charged under anti-subversion law

Mar 4, 2008 (DVB), Members of the 88 Generation Students group have been charged under anti-subversion legislation and could face up to 20 years' imprisonment, their lawyer said.

Central court lawyer U Aung Thein told DVB that the activists were charged under the anti-subversion law 5/96 on 16 February.

"I was told about this by family members, who recently visited the 88 generation students," U Aung Thein said.

"It's not clear whether the new charges have been added to the existing ones or have replaced them , we will only find that out at the court hearing."

88 Generation Students leaders Min Ko Naing, Ko Ko Gyi and eight others were charged with offences under the press law at the end of January, which led to strong criticism from the US government.

It is not clear how many of the activists will now face anti-subversion charges.

The anti-subversion law forbids any actions intended to undermine national stability, community peace or law and order, and disrupting the national convention.

A violation of 5/96 carries a penalty of between five and 20 years' imprisonment and the possibility of a fine.

U Aung Thein said he had asked the authorities' permission to act as the defence lawyer for the activists, alongside the National League for Democracy's U Nyan Win and a third lawyer, U Kyi Win.

Reporting by Yee May Aung

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