Blogger Nay Phone Latt appears in court

Jul 9, 2008 (DVB), Blogger Nay Phone Latt appeared before Insein prison court for the first time yesterday where he heard three charges against him, including causing public alarm, his mother told DVB.

Daw Aye Than said her son was charged under section 32(b) of the Video Act, section 36 of an unspecified law regulating electronic devices and section 505(b) of the penal code, which forbids the distribution of material likely to cause public alarm or incite offences against the public tranquility.

A section 32(b) violation carries a maximum penalty of six months' imprisonment, while section 505(b) of the penal code mandates a jail term of up to two years.

He was originally only charged with section 32(b) of the Video Act.

Nay Phone Latt was informed of the charges at yesterday’s court hearing and was told by the judge that his next court hearing will be on 22 July.

"I’m sad to learn an innocent person was charged under three acts but these things are not so unusual in this country," Daw Aye Than said.

"He has lost about 14lbs in weight and is suffering from weak eyesight as well."

Daw Aye Than said Nay Phone Latt had had a medical check-up with a doctor yesterday and that the family had also asked prison authorities to allow him to see an optician.

Ma Thin July Kyaw from Dagon township, who was arrested at the same time as Nay Phone Latt, also appeared in court yesterday and was charged with violations of section 32(b) of the Video Act and section 36 of the law covering electronic devices.

Reporting by Naw Say Phaw

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