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Sister Says Jailed Burmese Monk on Hunger Strike

The sister of a Buddhist monk imprisoned by Burma's military rulers for pro-democracy activities says her brother is on a hunger strike.

Khin Thu Htay tells VOA Burmese service that monk Ashin Gambira began the hunger strike 10 days ago after prison authorities blocked him from seeing her and other family members. She says the family tried to visit him at a prison in the central region of Mandalay.

The sister says Burmese authorities told her that several days later, Gambira was transferred to another prison Hkamti in a remote part of the northwestern Sagaing region.

Courts in military-run Burma sentenced the monk last year to 68 years in prison for leading pro-democracy protests in 2007.

Burmese citizens began weeks of mass protests against the military in June 2007 before authorities crushed the demonstrations. The United Nations says at least 31 people were killed and thousands more were detained in the crackdown.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.