Friday, November 21, 2008

Junta continues crackdown on activists - U Gambira

By Naw Say Phaw

Nov 20, 2008 (DVB)–High-profile monk leader U Gambira has been sentenced to 27 years’ imprisonment, the latest in a number of activists to be given long-term sentences this month.

U Gambira, leader of the All-Burmese Monks’ Alliance and a key figure in last year’s public demonstration, was sentenced to 12 years in prison on 18 November for inciting public unrest and religious defamation, according to a lawyer who did not wish to be named.

The lawyer said at the time that U Gambira’s sentence was likely to increase as he is still awaiting trial on several other charges.

The prominent monk has now been jailed for an additional 15 years for offences under the Electronics Act at a hearing today at Western Rangoon provincial court in Insein prison.

Another monk from Mandalay, U Kaylatha, was sentenced to a 35-year jail term under the Unlawful Association Act on 18 November.

Two young Chin men and an Arakanese youth have also been given jail terms ranging from eight to 33 years, according to Pu Cin Sian Thang, leader of the Zomi National Congress.

Pu Cin Sian Thang’s son Kyaw Soe (also known as Kam Lam Khut) was sentenced to 33 years in prison on 10 charges and his nephew Anthony (also known as Kat Kham Kwa), Tin Htoo Aung was given an eight-year sentence.

Arakan national Tin Htoo Aung was sentenced to 33 years’ imprisonment.

"I just keep telling myself that at least God knows what [the SPDC] is doing," Pu Cint Sian Thang said.

"I'm expecting the young people will be sent to remote prisons soon and I am very sad about that."

The three were arrested in November last year following the monk-led Saffron Revolution in September.

Meanwhile, two activists from Bogalay, who were recently jailed for nine years along with seven other colleagues, have had their sentences extended.

Activist Thein Zaw was sentenced to five more years in prison while his colleague Thiha Thet Zin was given 10 more years.

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