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Myanmar court sentences opposition lawyers to prison

[JURIST] A court in military-ruled Myanmar [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] on Friday sentenced two lawyers from the National League for Democracy (NLD to four month prison terms for being "disrespectful" while representing dissident students. The US Department of State condemned the prosecutions [press release], calling for the military regime to "cease harassing and arresting citizens for peacefully exercising their internationally recognized human rights." Myanmar criminalizes participation in demonstrations, speeches, or written statements that could undermine stability. AFP has more.

Last Wednesday, a court sentenced nine student activists to six months in prison [JURIST report] for complaining that their trials were being held in secret. The court ruled that the activists had interrupted a public servant at a judicial proceeding. Last Monday, six members of the NLD were sentenced to between two and 13 years in prison [JURIST report] for their involvement in the abortive 2007 Saffron Revolution [Independent backgrounder]. The NLD's leader, Aung San Suu Kyi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] has been in house arrest for over thirteen years.

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