Asia

Myanmar activist faces prison for anti-government march

Htin Kyaw shouts as he leaves court Image copyright AP
Image caption Activist Htin Kyaw, right, shouts as he leaves a district court after his trial in Yangon, Myanmar

An activist in Myanmar (also known as Burma) has been sentenced to at least 11 years for taking part in an anti-government march.

Htin Kyaw is being prosecuted in each of the 12 Yangon townships he marched through earlier this year.

He was convicted again on Thursday for handing out anti-government leaflets.

Spontaneous protests are illegal in Myanmar but many political prisoners have been released as part of reforms.

'Farcical' prosecution

Human rights groups have criticised Htin Kyaw's prosecution for disturbing public order.

The high-profile activist was previously convicted and then given an amnesty as recently as last year for demonstrating against the government.

He has been in prison since 5 May.

Human rights group Amnesty International's Rupert Abbott said Htin Kyaw had done nothing but express his opinions.

"The relentless efforts of the Myanmar authorities to silence a critical voice must end immediately," said Mr Abbott.

"The charges are farcical," he said.

"Like other democratic countries, Myanmar township courts are responsible for their concerned townships," said Myanmar's information minister, Ye Htut, in defence of the prosecutions.

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