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Burma: Leading Pro-Democracy Activists Charged

Press Release: Terry Evans

30 January

Burma: Leading Pro-Democracy Activists Charged

Several pro-democracy activists have been charged with making illegal statements during last August's fuel price protests. Amongst those charged are two of Burma's most important pro-democracy leaders, Min Ko Naing and Ko Ko Gyi, who have been under arrest since the early days of the fuel protests.

Following the arrests of Min Ko Naing and Ko Ko Gyi, Burma's Buddhist monks took the lead and escalated the protests against the ruling generals. By the end of September tens of thousands of monks and pro-democracy supporters filled the streets of Burma's major cities, chanting prayer of peace and loving kindness. Within a few days the brutal junta responded by unleashing lethal force, killing dozens of monks and detaining thousands more to bring the demonstrations to an abrupt halt.

It is believed that this group of leading dissidents will be tried in secret at Rangoon's infamous Insein prison, where they have been held under emergency powers since the the protests. Under the junta's draconian press laws the pro-democracy activists can expect jail sentences of not less than seven years.

ENDS


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