NLD youth member given four-year jail term

Oct 3, 2008 (DVB), Mya Than Htike, a National League for Democracy youth member who was hit by a bullet when government troops opened fire on protestors last year, has been sentenced to four years in prison.

Kyauktada township court handed down the sentence of four years' imprisonment with hard labour yesterday for gathering in a group of more than five people and not obeying orders to disperse, lawyer Aung Thein said.

"When the security forces opened fire to disperse the crowds, Mya Than Htike fell down and was left behind," Aung Thein said.

"He insisted that he was hit while he was trying cross the street with three friends but was blocked by the crowd."

Mya Than Htike was sentenced to two years' imprisonment each for two charges , offences against the state or public tranquility under section 505(b) of the penal code and joining an unlawful assembly under section 145.

Mya Than Htike, from Thingangyun township, Rangoon, was shot in the thigh when troops fired into the crowds to disperse demonstrators in September last year.

He had been caught up in the crowd at the junction of Anawrahta road and 33rd street outside Shwe Loonpyan store.

The prosecution claimed he had been at the front of the crowd of protestors, but Mya Than Htike argued that he had been walking away from the scene with his back to the soldiers when he was shot.

He was arrested by the police while receiving treatment in hospital and sent to Insein prison.

U Aung Thein also said it was unfair to try Mya Than Htike on two different charges for the same offence.

Reporting by Aye Nai

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