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Burma: Protesters Jailed After Secret Trials

Protesters Jailed after Secret Trials

Last September Buddhist monks spearheaded the biggest anti-Government protests in Burma in nearly 20 years. Officially, more than 3000 people were arrested during the crackdown by the military junta, which violently suppressed the demonstrations by firing on protesters.

Yesterday Amnesty International said in a statement yesterday that at least 700 were still behind bars, and at least 40 of them have been jailed after secret trials.The human rights group said its research found protesters had been convicted for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression and assembly. "Three people were sentenced merely for giving water to monks on the street," Amnesty's statement said.

The organisation urged the United Nations Security Council to pass a resolution reflecting the world's concerns over the country, after a visit by the UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari last month yielded no progress on human rights.


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