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Defiant Stand In Burmese Court

Defiant Stand In Burmese Court

14 September 2008

Min Ko Naing, a towering figure in Burma’s pro-democracy movement, made a defiant stand when he appeared in court at Rangoon’s notorious Insein Prison last week.

“You can sentence us to a thousand years in prison for our political activities, but we will continue to defend ourselves in accordance with the law. Nobody can hide from justice,” Min Ko Naing relayed to the presiding judge via his lawyer.

Min Ko Naing and 34 other members of the 88 Generation student movement are facing a variety of charges related to their involvement in last year’s protests against huge fuel price hikes by Burma's ruling junta. These initial protests and arrests ignited mass demonstrations by Buddhist monks.

Included in the charges is the alleged offence of violating Article 130B of the Penal Code, which prohibits libel against friendly foreign powers. The charge stems from the group’s alleged criticism of China and Russia for their role in vetoing a draft UN Security Council resolution on Burma in January 2007.

Many of the accused are veterans of Burma’s pro-democracy movement, who have already served long prison terms for their political activities since 1988.

ENDS

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