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Burma Releases Lawyers From Prison After Contempt Conviction

Burma has released two lawyers who were convicted of contempt of court last year and sentenced to four months in prison.

Supreme court lawyers U Aung Thein and U Khin Maung Shein were released Friday after serving their full sentences.

The two lawyers had represented student activists. Burma's High Court sentenced them in November for what was described as a lack of respect for the court.

The Asian Human Rights Commission welcomed their release and expressed hope they will be permitted to continue practicing their profession.

The Hong-Kong-based group quoted U Aung Thein and U Khin Maung Shein as saying they had no chance to defend themselves. The two said their clients withdrew their powers of attorney because they lost faith in the judicial process.

The Asian Human Rights Commission said Burma's contempt-of-court law contains no guidance on how contempt is to be assessed and heard fairly.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.