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Myanmar opposition members sentenced to year in prison for constitution protest

[JURIST] Four members of Myanmar's National League for Democracy (NLD) have been jailed for a year for having campaigned against the country's then-draft constitution [JURIST news archive], according to NLD spokesperson Nyan Win as quoted by AP. Win said Friday the four were arrested in March for spreading leaflets which called on citizens to vote against the draft, which was ultimately approved by a national referendum [JURIST report] in May. In the months leading up to the referendum, the NLD and other opposition groups urged voters to reject the proposed charter [JURIST report], which they called a "sham" [JURIST report] to legalize military rule. The four activists were sentenced June 27, but Win said the party is going to appeal the sentences. AP has more.

Also on Friday, 14 members of the NLD were charged [DPA report] with causing political unrest by staging a protest outside NLD headquarters where they shouted slogans calling for the release of NLD party leader Aung San Suu Kyi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive]. The demonstration took place on June 19, Suu Kyi's 63rd birthday. Suu Kyi has spent 12 of the past 18 years in prison or under house arrest for alleged violations of an anti-subversion law [text]. The military junta extended [JURIST report] Suu Kyi's house arrest into a sixth year in May, sparking an international outcry and demonstrations by the NLD.

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