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Appeal for May Day activists denied

Jul 3, 2008 (DVB), Burma's Supreme Court has rejected an appeal on behalf of Thurein Aung and five other activists who have been given lengthy prison terms for gathering workers to celebrate May Day last year.

Lawyer U Aung Thein said the court had agreed to hear the appeal, but turned it down last Friday.

Six activists including Thurein Aung were arrested on their way home from attending a May Day ceremony at the American Embassy in the country's former capital.

Rangoon's Western District Court charged all six with sedition and sentenced them to 20 years' imprisonment under article 124(a) of the penal code.

Thurein Aung and three others were also charged under article 13/1 of the Immigration and Emergency Act and article 17(a) of the Unlawful Association Act and given an additional five to eight years each.

This is the second time the activists' appeal has been denied. It was first submitted to Divisional Court before it reached the highest court.

U Aung Thein told DVB that he would continue trying to submit a special appeal for his clients even though has said the chance of it being accepted was slim.

Reporting by Khin Hnin Htet


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