Activist Su Su Nway's sentence reduced

Feb 20, 2009 (DVB), The prison sentence of labour rights activist Su Su Nway, who was jailed for 12 and a half years in November 2008, has been reduced by four years by Rangoon division court, according to her lawyer.

Su Su Nway, 36, who rose to prominence after reporting forced labour practices to the International Labour Organisation, was arrested in November 2007 and was sentenced to 12 and a half years in prison last November.

Her lawyers Kyi Win and Khin Htay Kywe lodged a number of appeals on her behalf, arguing that she had been jailed unfairly as she had done nothing illegal.

Last week, the sentences of famous comedian Zarganar and journal editor Zaw Thet Htway were also reduced.

Legal expert and National League for Democracy spokesperson Nyan Win said he welcomed the decision to shorten the jail terms but said the sentences had been unjust in the first place.

"They have not reduced the sentences. They have just said the sentences should be served concurrently so it looks like the sentences have been reduced," Nyan Win said.

"As the sentences were extreme, it is good that they have shortened them but they have still not released the people," he said.

"They are doing it for political gain, not for legal reasons. If they had followed the law, there would have been no reason for them to give such heavy sentences."

Reporting by Nan Kham Kaew

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