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BURMA_ an Editor Sentenced to 13 Years Over Alleged Anti-government Activity

BURMA_ an Editor Sentenced to 13 Years Over Alleged Anti-government Activity

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Published by Jutta Pflueg
The Asian Human Rights Commission has followed the case of Nyi Nyi Htun, the editor of a Karenni state-based news journal, who was charged for upsetting public tranquility by sending news reports outside Burma. He was sentenced to 13 years in prison on 13 October 2010 by the Seikkan Township court.
The Asian Human Rights Commission has followed the case of Nyi Nyi Htun, the editor of a Karenni state-based news journal, who was charged for upsetting public tranquility by sending news reports outside Burma. He was sentenced to 13 years in prison on 13 October 2010 by the Seikkan Township court.

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Published by: Jutta Pflueg on Nov 05, 2010
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05.11.10 15:23BURMA: An editor sentenced to 13 years over alleged anti-government activitySeite 1 von 3http://www.ahrchk.net/statements/mainfile.php/2010statements/2913/
Asian Human Rights Commission - Statement
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BURMA: An editor sentenced to 13 yearsover alleged anti-government activity
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AHRC-STM-217-2010November 4, 2010
A Statement by the Asian Human RightsCommission
BURMA: An editor sentenced to 13years over alleged anti-governmentactivity
The Asian Human Rights Commission has followed thecase of Nyi Nyi Htun, the editor of a Karenni state-based news journal, who was charged for upsettingpublic tranquility by sending news reports outsideBurma. He was sentenced to 13 years in prison on 13October 2010 by the Seikkan Township court.Police officers from the Yangon Division Police Chief Office arrested Nyi Nyi Htun in Thingangyun Townshipof Yangon Division upon suspicion of havingconnections with a series of bomb blasts in Yangon inOctober 2009. Nyi Nyi Htun was kept in police custodyand tortured continuously for six days at the YangonDivisional Police Headquarters. The police laterconfiscated a computer, a memory stick and otherdocuments at his house.The ALRC, the AHRC's sister organization, has alreadysubmitted a statement to UN Human Rights Councilregarding the brutal torture Nyi Nyi Htun has beenexposed to. Kindly noteALRC-CWS-15-05-2010.Nyi Nyi Htun was charged for being involved with anillegal organizations based at the Thai-Burma boarderunder section 17(1) of the Unlawful Associations Act, section 13(1) of the Immigration Emergency ProvisionsAct, section 6(1) of the Wireless Act. Further he wascharged with upsetting public tranquility under section505(b) of the Penal Code.The evidence presented in court by the police includesdocuments taken from Nyi Nyi Htun's email account,which was stored on the memory stick. According tothe Police the documents allegedly reveal that Nyi Nyi 
 
05.11.10 15:23BURMA: An editor sentenced to 13 years over alleged anti-government activitySeite 2 von 3http://www.ahrchk.net/statements/mainfile.php/2010statements/2913/
Htun illegally had gone to Mae Sot at the Thailand-Burma boarder several times, where he met with anti-government groups, whom he allegedly receivedmoney from.According to Nyi Nyi Htun none of the documentsseized from his computer and memory stick can beused as documentation for him being involved in terroracts, having traveled to the border or having met withany anti-government groups. Apparently the stampshowing his allegedly entrance at the bridge on theboarder between Burma and Thailand shows a date,where he had already been imprisoned.The UN's Special Rapporteur on Myanmar, ThomasOjea Quintana states that in the case of Nyi Nyi Htunseveral domestic laws have been used to restrictfreedom of expression and assembly. These include theUnlawful Association Act (1908), the State ProtectionAct (1975) and sections 143, 145, 152, 295(A), 505,505(b). In his report to the UN Human Rights Councilpublished in March 2010, Quintana emphasizes, "As aState Member of the United Nations, Myanmar shouldhave ensured compliance of its domestic laws with itsinternational obligations, according to the principles of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties".Burma is doubtlessly a dangerous place to be areporter. Journalists among others who send andreceive information outside the country are oftenimprisoned under security measurements such as theState Protection Act claiming to prevent terrorism.There have even been reports on journalists beingarrested simply for taking photos of the area affectedby the cyclone in 2008 or for reporting on bombattacks. Kindly seeAHRC-UAC-023-2010.These arrest and imprisonments strongly oppose theUniversal Declaration of Human Rights, which presenteveryone with the freedom to hold opinions withoutinterference, the right to assembly and to seek andreceive information and ideas through different mediaregardless of frontiers.The Burmese Military regime continues to harass allfreethinking people as the case of Nyi Nyi Htun clearlyillustrates. Similar absurd and undue sentences aredaily handed out for petty crimes in Burma. Thesentences are indicators of deep-rooted systemicproblems across institutions in the country, wheremilitary rule has wiped out most of the framework for asystem based on rule of law. While this framework andthe concept it was build on have broken down inBurma, so has the logic in which the regime operates.

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