Nay Phone Latte, a young blogger who has been held since 29 January in Insein prison, is facing a possibly seven-year sentence after new charges were brought against him on 7 July under the article 5 (j) of the 1950 Emergency Provision Act, article 505 (b) of the criminal code (which punishes defaming the state) and article 33 (a) of the Electronic Act. He was originally charged under article 32 (b) of the Video Act, which would have limited his maximum detention to six months.
The new charges were approved by a special court in Insein prison, where his lawyer has never been allowed to see him since his arrest. Another court appearance was scheduled for 16 July, but Nay Phone Latte told his mother it has been postponed. Meanwhile, he has contracted an eye problem but the prison authorities are not letting him see a doctor.
21.04.2008 Imprisoned blogger visited by mother, still does not know reason for arrest
Blogger Nay Phone Latt, who has been held in Insein prison since February, was allowed a visit by his mother today. “He is all right,” she said. “He told me he did not yet know why he was arrested and that his release did not seem to be imminent.” She added that he is due to be tried at the end of the month.
“Nay Phone Latt has been held for nearly three months,” Reporters Without Borders said. “He has not been tried and no clear charges have been brought against him. His detention is therefore clearly a human rights violation and we reiterate our call for his release.”
He was arrested on 29 January under section 5 (J) of the 1950 Emergency Provision Act - which sanctions any attempt to “disrupt morality” or to “disrupt security, stability or the restoration of order” - simply for having a video that has been banned by the military government. Initially held at the interior ministry, he was transferred to Insein prison after one week. He faces a possible seven-year jail sentence.
The owner of two Rangoon Internet cafés, Nay Phone Latt keeps a blog (http://www.nayphonelatt.net/) in which he has written about the difficulties that young people have in expressing themselves, especially since last autumn’s protests. He was arrested with several members of the opposition National League for Democracy, who were released a few hours later.
To know more about
The Internet in Burma
Last Automn’s protests
Press freedom in Burma