11/14/2008, 00.00
MYANMAR
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Burmese regime continues repression against monks and dissidents

Nine religious have been condemned to sentences that vary between six to eight years in prison. NLD spokesman confirms charges against 14 members of the opposition and announces fresh arrests. The military crack down aims to “dissuade” criticism of the regime ahead of the 2010 elections.

Yangon (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Nine religious have been condemned to sentences that vary between six to eight years in prison reports Nyan Win, National League for Democracy (NLD) spokesman, explaining that they have been charged with taking part in the September 2007 protests against the military regime.  He has also confirmed that 14 members of Myanmar’s opposition party, led by Noble Aung San Suu Kyi, have been sentenced to between 4 and 10 years in prison.

The sentences passed in recent days, which according to local sources amount to 50 since Monday November 10th, confirm a fresh military crack down by Burma’s ruling junta against dissidents.

According to one diplomatic source based in Myanmar, this new wave of repression aims to “dissuade” all calls for democracy in the nation ahead of the political elections set for 2010.

 “Fourteen members of the NLD and four monks – confirms Nyan Win – were condemned yesterday [Thursday 13 November]. The monks have been sentenced to eight years of prison”.  A further five monks from the Ngwe Kyar Yan monastery in Yangon, were instead sentenced to six and a half years in prison.  On the very same day the Insein court prison emitted a sentence of 65 years of prison for a total of 14 dissidents from the “88 generation” – five women among them – because of their battle in favour of democracy during the “saffron revolution” of September 2007.  “There will be further punishment” refers Nyan Win, warning “increate pressures on political militants and heavy threats for the population”.

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