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Burma Sentences Blogger to 20 Years in Prison


The Paris-based media-rights group Reporters Without Borders says Burma's military-led government has sentenced Burmese poet and online activist Nay Phone Latt to more than 20 years in prison.

In a statement released Monday, Reporters Without Borders criticized authorities for sentencing Nay Phone Latt just for using the Internet. The statement says the ruling is meant to terrify those who go online.

The statement does not say when the sentence was handed down.

The group quotes Nay Phone Latt's mother as saying she never expected her son to get such a heavy sentence. Mr. Latt's mother says she was not allowed to attend the special court proceedings at Insein prison, where he has been held since his arrest in January.

The group says his lawyer was also jailed for criticizing the special court's proceedings.

Nay Phone Latt has been in jail since January 29 when he was arrested for possessing a video that was banned by the military government.

He owns two Rangoon Internet cafes and keeps an online blog in which he has written about the difficulties that young people have in expressing themselves.

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