Two more activists sentenced by Burmese court

Nov 10, 2008 (DVB)-A Burmese court has ordered two more activists to serve a 19 year jail-term each in connection with 2007 September protests, without hearing their counter arguments, according to their families.

Reverend U Thattama of Garna Puli monastery in Rangoon Twante and Htun Htun Naing, a resident of nearby Insein, were sentenced last Friday by judge Sein Hla Oo of Eastern Rangoon Province court inside Insein prison.

Than Than Aye, sister of U Thattama said she found out about the sentence from a friend and visited him at the prison on Saturday but not allowed to see him.

"Officials at the prison refused to let me in as the prison was not opened for visits on that day," said Than Than Aye.

"It would be more difficult for us to see him after he is transferred to another prison."

Aye Thandar, wife of Htun Htun Naing said she wasn’t aware of her husband’s situation until she visited him at the prison on Saturday as the original date given for the verdict was 10 November.

"When I arrived there, I was told he has been sentenced to 19 years’ imprisonment," said Aye Thandar.

"Apparently my husband told them (officials) at the court they were not supposed to hear the verdict until Monday but they told him they had to follow order from Naypyidaw."

She added her husband claimed the charges against them were unfair and demanded the right to lodge appeal to higher courts but the family was unable to assist him as their lawyers, U Khin Maung Shein and U Aung Thein were recently thrown into jail for four months each for ‘contempt of court’ by Burma’s supreme court.

Reporting by Yee May Aung

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