Four Monks, including Monks’ Leader U Gambira, and Five Ethnic Youth Leaders Imprisoned on November 18, 2008

Close-door courts, held inside Insein Prison Compound, delivered harsh sentences to at least four monks and five activists today. Family members and defense lawyers were not allowed to attend the sentencing. These political prisoners will be transferred to remote prisons, far away from Rangoon soon.

Monks’ leader U Gambira received 12 years imprisonment today. He is a leader of the All Burma Monk’s Alliance and organized nationwide peaceful of Monks in September 2007. He was arrested in November 2007 and detained in Insein Prison since then. He was accused with total of 16 charges and sent before the court since August 2008. His 12 imprisonment today was delivered by Kyee Mying Daing Township Court, held inside the Insein Prison Compound, as the first batch of punishment. He will receive more imprisonment soon from other charges.

Another monks’ leader from Mandalay, U Kaylartha received 35 years imprisonment today from the same court. He was one of the leading monks during the protest in September 2007 and arrested since then.

Two other monks, U Pannita and U Sandar Thiri were sentenced 9 years and 11 years imprisonment respectively by Bahan Township Court, held inside the Insein Prison Compound, today. They were arrested since September 2007. U Sandar Thiri is from Shwe Aim Dhama Theingi Monastery in Thingangyun Township, Rangoon.

Three ethnic youth leaders were sentenced today by Kyee Mying Daing Township Court, held inside Insein Prison Compound. Two Chin youth leaders, Kyaw Soe (aka) Kam Lat Hkat and Kat Hkat Kwal received 33 years and 8 years imprisonment respectively. They are son and nephew of Chin leader and MP-elect U Pu Chin Sian Thang (Chairman of Zomi National Congress) respectively. A Rakhine youth leader Tin Htoo Aung received 33 years imprisonment.

Two activists received additional imprisonment today by a court held inside the Insein Prison Compound.

Thiha Thant Zin was sentenced 8 years imprisonment by a court on Nov 11, 2008. Today, he received additional 10 years imprisonment by a special court. His total prison term becomes 18 years. He is the sole survivor in his family as his parents, wife and children were killed by Cyclone Nargis while he is in prison.

His first cousin, Thein Zaw was also sentenced 8 years imprisonment on Nov 11, 2008. Today, he also received additional 5 years imprisonment from the same court. His prison term becomes 13 years.

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