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10-Year Sentence for Newest Political Prisoner in Burma

on August 30, 2011

Nay Myo Zin was sentenced to ten years in prison by a Burmese court last week. His wife reported that he was arrested because Burmese secret police had found an email in his inbox that discussed national reconciliation.

Zin was charged under the Electronic Transitions Act 33a, which criminalizes “doing any act detrimental to the security of the State or prevalence of law and order or community peace and tranquility or national solidarity or national economy or national culture.” This law is frequently used to arrest dissidents (pdf).

Nay Myo Zin was the first person to be arrested for political reasons since the new Burmese government took power earlier this year. His arrest and sentencing is another a sign that despite its claims to be on the path to democracy, the government has not changed. In addition to Nay Myo Zin, there are 1,995 other political prisoners in Burma, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners Burma.

PHR urges the Burmese government to embrace principles of democracy and release all political prisoners.

Places: Burma