Eight sentenced for political activities and media contact

Sep 12, 2008 (DVB), Eight people who have been held in Thayet prison for about a year were sentenced yesterday for political activities and contact with foreign media, their family members said.

The eight were sentenced at 3pm yesterday by a court inside the prison.

NLD members U Myint Oo from Magwe, U Thar Cho from Yenangyaung and U Tun Tun Nyein from Chauk were each sentenced to two and a half years in prison, while U Htay Win from Natmauk was jailed for two years.

Myint Oo is secretary of Magwe township NLD.

Four Pakokku residents who had been arrested for speaking to foreign media were also sentenced yesterday , U Nayla, U Tha Aung and U Sein Lin to two years and U Thant Shin to nine.

Myint Oo's wife Daw Sandar Win, also an NLD member, who is now living on the Thai-Burma border, said she had heard about the sentences.

"[People from] Pakokku, Yenangyaung, Chauk, Natmauk and Magwe were all sentenced today, we heard. I heard that my husband got two and a half years," she said, speaking yesterday.

"The person who got the longest was U Thant Shin , I heard he got nine years."

Sandar Win said she had hoped her husband would be released, but would continue to work for her country.

"We expected them to get longer than this , it has become a tradition that you get at least five years in connection with political activities," Sandar Win said.

"We have already calculated that they are not likely to be released easily, but it is two and half years; he has already served a year and we hope that he will be released after another year," she said.

"We are holding out for that."

Reporting by Naw Noreen

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