Blogger in Myanmar Jailed
According to CNN, a court official reported that courts in Myanmar have sentenced a blogger, a poet and several dissidents to several years in jail for anti-regime activities on Monday and Tuesday.
Blogger Nay Phone Latt, 28, was sentenced to more than 20 years in jail due to illegal Internet activities, the court official said. The government has strict control over Internet use and media outlets in the country.
Latt was a "major source of information for the outside world" in the military-ruled country, The Irrawaddy, an online newspaper published by exiles from Myanmar, said.
Poet Saw Wai was sentenced to a two-year jail sentence for a poem he wrote for Valentine's Day. The first words of each of the poem's eight lines spelled out the phrase "Senior General Than Shwe is crazy with power," which was directed at key leader, Senior Gen. Than Shwe.
A dozen members of the pro-democracy group known as the '88 Generation Students received their sentences Tuesday. Members of the group were involved in the anti-government demonstrations that ended with the death of as many as 100 people last year.
A report from the International Herald Tribune offers greater detail on the charges.
Nay Phone Latt, was given 15 years in jail under the country's Electronics Law, two years for "creating public alarm," and 3 1/2 years under the Video Act, his mother, Aye Than, said. One of his offenses included that possession of a banned video.
Saw Wai was sentenced for creating public alarm, a colleague, who asked not to be named for fear of retribution, said. His poem was published in a popular weekly entertainment magazine.