Monday, June 22, 2009

NLD Members Convicted of Insulting Religion

The Irrawaddy News

Two members of the National League for Democracy (NLD) were sentenced to 18 months in prison in a Twantay Township court on Tuesday on charges of insulting religion. Three other NLD members have been detained in Rangoon under the explosives act.

Chit Pe, a vice-president of the NLD office in Twantay Township, and Aung Soe Wai were each sentenced to 18 months on charges of insulting religion, according to Nyan Win, an NLD spokesman.

Both men were arrested in April after participating in a Buddhist religious ceremony with about 50 other NLD members for the release of detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners. The ceremony was held at a pagoda in Twantay Township.

“Three NLD youth members were also arrested in Rangoon in June and have been detained and remanded under the Explosives Act," Nyan Win told The Irrawaddy. “Our NLD party will help them with legal aid.”

The three NLD members detained under the explosives act were not identified. No other details of their arrest were available.

“The Burmese junta has oppressed NLD members severely since 1990. I don’t want to guess politically what will happen in the future, but the NLD will practice non-violent ways and continue to oppose the regime.”

Aung San Suu Kyi , the leader of the pro-democracy NLD party, is currently in Rangoon’s Insein Prison on trial for alleged violations of the terms of her house arrest. Her trial is currently in recess and scheduled to resume on Friday. If convicted, she faces up to five years in prison.

In the 1990 election, the NLD party won a landslide victory in the national election, but the junta refused to honor the results.

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