Brother-in-law of ABMA leader sentenced to five years' hard labour

Mar 13, 2009 (DVB), The brother-in-law of All-Burma Monks Alliance leader U Gambira has been sentenced to five years' imprisonment with hard labour under immigration laws, said his wife.

Moe Htet Hlyan, husband of U Gambria's older sister Khin Thu Htay was sentenced under an emergency provision act by Rangoon's North Dagon township court yesterday for illegally entering the country.

He was arrested 9 September 2008 while organising an activity to set off hot air balloons in Rangoon to mark the one-year anniversary of the formation of the ABMA.

The ABMA came to international attention after initiating the nationwide monk protests in September 2007.

Khin Thu Htay said the court's judge wanted to let her husband go but was forced to hand down the sentence by high-ranking government officials.

"The court judge previously promised me that justice will be sought and that there was not enough evidence to sentence my husband," said Khin Thu Htay.

"But then he was pressured by Burma's chief judge to pass the sentence."

In other news, two members of the National League for Democracy in Rangoon, Ma Cho and Theingi, who provided aid to victims of cyclone Nargis, were each sentenced to two years' imprisonment by Insein prison special court under charges of having links with unlawful associations.

Reporting by Nan Kham Kaew

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