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Zarganar and Nay Phone Latt win international prize

Dec 4, 2008 (DVB), Reporters Without Borders has awarded one of its annual prizes to Burmese comedian and activist Zarganar and blogger Nay Phone Latt, both of whom are currently serving lengthy prison sentences.

Zarganar and Nay Phone Latt shared the prize in the Cyber-dissident category.

Cuban journalist Ricardo Gonzalez Alfonso was awarded the 2008 Journalist of the Year prize, while the Radio Free NK radio station from North Korea received the 2008 Media prize.

Zarganar was arrested in September 2007 for supporting monk-led demonstrations in Burma and was detained again in June this year after providing assistance to victims of Cyclone Nargis.

In a statement by RSF announcing the prizewinners, Zarganar was described as having become before his arrest "a reliable source of information in a country strangled by censorship and repression".

He was sentenced to 59 years' imprisonment in November, and was transferred to Myitkyina prison today.

Nay Phone Latt, a blogger and owner of two internet cafes in Rangoon, was arrested in January this year.

His blog came to prominence during the Saffron Revolution in September 2007 as an important source of information on the protests.

In November this year, he was jailed for 20 years and six months for violating the Electronic Act.

Reporting by Siân Thomas


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