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Poet to be retried for illegal publishing

Nov 9, 2007 (DVB), A poet who has already been punished by the Burmese government for publishing politically sensitive material is to face another trial for the same offence.

Kyaw Thu Moe Myint, a poet from Kyauk Se, Mandalay division, was accused of illegally circulating sensitive information after he distributed a small collection of 11 poems to mark Valentine's day, two of which mentioned independence hero general Aung San.

He was given a 30,000 kyat fine and served 12 days in prison earlier this year.

But now Kyaw Thu Moe Myint has been told he will be tried again on the same charges.

Mandalay divisional court judge Daw Khin May Thein has instructed him to appear before the court to make his defence on 14 November.

Kyaw Thu Moe Myint told DVB that he was frustrated by the authorities' continuing harassment.

"I spent about 5-600,000 kyat on the case last time and 12 days in detention. I’m only an artist and was just publishing my work," he said.

"Now I have been tried three times for this. My family is frustrated as well. I want this to end. I will be sent to jail for between a year and a year and a half this time if they find me guilty."

Kyaw Thu Moe Myint will be tried for illegal publishing under section 17 of the Printers and Publishers Registration Act.

Reporting by DVB


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