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Burma Imprisons 2 More Pro-Democracy Lawyers

Burma's High Court sentenced two lawyers from Aung San Suu Kyi's pro-democracy party Friday to four months each in prison for contempt of court.

Aung Thein and Khin Maung Shein were charged after lodging complaints that their clients were not given a fair trial.

In the past two weeks, Burmese defense lawyer Nyi Nyi Htwe was sentenced to six months in jail on the same charge. Another attorney, Saw Kyaw Kyaw Min, also faces possible imprisonment.

The four represent several activists, including the popular comedian Zarganar, who were arrested after supporting peaceful pro-democracy demonstrations last year.

The U.S. State Department issued a statement Friday condemning the prosecutions.

The State Department called on Burma to immediately release Nyi Nyi Htwe and drop all charges against the other lawyers.

It also urged the military government to release all political prisoners and stop harassing and arresting citizens for peacefully exercising their internationally-recognized human rights.

Burma suppresses any dissent and is accused of holding more than 2,000 political prisoners. Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is among them. She has been under house arrest for 13 of the past 19 years.

The Burmese government says it is implementing democratic reforms, but critics argue recent changes to the constitution tighten the military's grip on power.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.