Human rights and free expression advocates across the world are raising a howl over the jail term of 20 years and six months against a Burmese blogger who reported about events in Burma which remains under the rule of a military junta.
Other journalists and activists were meted with jail sentences of up to 65 years!
Nay Phone Latt, 28, was punished for publishing a photo of the Burmese military ruler in his blog, among others.
Nay Phone Latt’s blogs during the September 2007 uprising provided invaluable information about events within the locked-down country, said a report by The Irrawady.
Visit BBC News for photos of the uprising and crachdown.
Human Rights Watch “urged countries in the region, particularly China, India, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, to press the Burmese government to drop charges or exonerate political activists, lawyers, and others detained for exercising their internationally protected rights to freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly”.
The group also said that “the arrests of Nay Phone Latt and two other journalists is a clear attempt to intimidate Burma’s independent media from reporting on these trials. Countries able to influence the Burmese junta should not stand by and let this happen.”
Global Voices Online reports that:
Nay Latt’s mother wasn’t allowed into the courtroom to see her son get sentenced for a crime that she expected him to get ten to twelve years. When he was sentenced to twenty years and six months it served as a shock to not just her but Nay’s lawyer as well.