Aug 18, 2008 (DVB)–Five young activists who were arrested in Taunggok township, Arakan state, on 8 August for staging a demonstration have been sentenced to two and a half years in prison.
The five were arrested after they held a protest march to mark the 20th anniversary of the 8888 uprising, according to U Thein Hlaing, joint secretary of the Arakan state National League for Democracy.
Ko Moe Naing Soe, Ko Maung Maung Thet, Ko Chit Maung Maung, Ko Than Lwin and Ma Ni Ni Nay Myint, who are all aged around 20, were sentenced by Sandoway township court on 15 August.
The five young people were among a group of 43 people who joined the silent march on 8 August.
The other protestors were also detained and held overnight, but were released the following day.
Other activists who were arrested in Rangoon on the anniversary of 8888, including members of the 88 Generation Students group, the All Burma Federation Of Student Unions and the Human Rights Defenders and Promoters network, have not yet been charged.
U Thein Hlaing said a total of 17 people had been jailed in Arakan State in the past 12 months.
In particular, U Thein Hlaing expressed his concern about Arakan NLD chairman and MP-elect U Nyi Pu who was arrested on 11 August, and said he hope United Nations special envoy Ibrahim Gambari would look into the matter.
U Thein Hlaing said NLD youth activists were stepping up their campaign despite the stream of arrests, citing as an example a solo protest by NLD youth wing member Ko Myint Thein Kyi on 15 August calling for the release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and all political prisoners.
Reporting by DVB