Lawyer plans to appeal sentences of 11 students

Jan 12, 2009 (DVB), Mandalay central court lawyer Myint Thwin is hoping to appeal the lengthy prison sentences given to 11 university students from Mandalay in November last year before the 24 January deadline.

The students, who were arrested in September 2008, had no legal representation during their trials.

The 11 included the leader of the 2007 generation All-Burma Federation of Student Unions for Upper Burma, Bo Min Yu.

"The ABFSU leader, Bo Min Yu, was sentenced to over 100 years in prison," Myint Thwin said.

"They had no lawyer defending them in court and I saw in their case files that they had confessed to all the allegations," he said.

"Maybe they didn’t have enough time to hire lawyers or maybe they were not given enough time to do so.

"All the allegations they confessed to were very serious ones."

Myint Thwin said he is now trying to get in touch with the families of the group to help them appeal the sentences before the two-month deadline for appeals expires on 24 January.

Myint Thwin has already been officially appointed to represent two of the students, Kathy Aung and Wei Phyo Lwin.

"Now I’m looking through their case files and verdicts to find loopholes to get them the legal protection they need," he said.

"I’m also trying to get rest of the families to hand me legal power to assist their children free of charge."

Kathy Aung was sentenced to 26 years' imprisonment in total on four different charges for taking part in an underground training session in Mae Sot.

"Two monks and four other youths were also included in the case against her," Myint Thwin said.

"She was sentenced to eight years in prison under two unlawful association acts along with Ko Myo Myint Aung," he said.

"We have finished writing the appeal letters and will present them on Monday then we take the process forward."

Reporting by Yee May Aung

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