New Delhi (Mizzima) - A Rangoon court has extended by 10 years the detention period for a National League for Democracy (Liberated Area – Malaysia Branch) member already serving a five-year sentence in Insein prison for violating the Electronics Act, according to a family friend.
Rangoon West District Court judge Nu Nu Khin, in Kyauktada Township, sentenced Than Myint Aung to the 10-year term for violating the Electronics Act, section 33 (a) yesterday. He was already serving a combined five-year term ordered by Thingangyun Township Court for illegally entering the country and alleged contact with an illegal group.
“After the trial had finished, he was taken back to Insein Prison. He was in good health, so he remained positive,” a person to Than Myint Aung’s family told Mizzima. “He said that in comparison with others’ [political prisoners’] 65-year prison terms, his was a light sentence.”
After Than Myint Aung worked in Malaysia from 2002 to late 2008, he returned to Burma to help to Cyclone Nargis victims. He was arrested on March 4 at a bus stop in Tamwe Township in Rangoon. Before the arrest, he had applied for a passport to work in Malaysia. He was prosecuted for illegally entering the country and working with the NLD (Liberated Area – Malaysia Branch).
On June 1, he was sentenced to a two-year jail term and a three-year jail term for violations of section 17 (1) of the Unlawful Association Act and section 13 (a) of the Immigration (Emergency Provisions) Act, respectively, by Judge Nyunt Nyunt Win in the Thingangyun court.
He was then on June 4 charged with violating the Electronics Act, section 33(a) for which the Rangoon West District Court sentenced him to the added 10 years in prison, bring the total time he must to be served to 15 years.
The Electronics Act contains provisions that establish long prison terms for disseminating news considered to tarnish the military junta’s image. The law has been frequently used by the junta to silence opposition voices.
Than Myint Aung’s barrister Soe Soe Mar said she had appealed against the former two cases and that she would also lodge an appeal against the latest decision.