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Human Rights Assault? Opinions Cause Arrests?

arrested Burmese blogger, Nay Phone LattYesterday, in the news, Burmese blogger, 28-year-old Nay Phone Latt was sentenced to imprisonment for 20 years and six months for the charges including slandering a high state official. Also arrested and sentenced were Latt's colleague, Thin July Kyaw and Saw Wai, another dissident, for two years each. And the person they mocked? Military leader Than Shwe.

The cartoon and poem Latt posted in his blog, nayphonelatt.net in Barmese meant, "Senior Gen. Than Shwe is foolish with power".

Though Mr Latt was arrested in January, the sentence was announced only yesterday. It broke down thus: fifteen years for offenses in Electronics Act, two years for creating public alarm, and three and a half years for offenses under the Video Act.

Blogging is a way to broadcast opinions, and people should be completely free to deliver their opinions wherever they want. This incident should be regarded as an outright assault on human rights by a senior leader, who is expected to protect it. Particularly since the arrested is a popular blogger in Burma that provided instrumental information on the Burmese political massacres of monks during September 2007.

We denounce this act with all force.

Copyright © Lenin Nair 2008

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