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NEWS - 200 Myanmar Students Given L

Subject: NEWS - 200 Myanmar Students Given Long Prison Sentences

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Report: 200 Myanmar Students Given Long Prison Sentences


               BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) -- More than 200
               Myanmar university students were sentenced to 14
               years in prison each late last month, a group of
               exiled Myanmar lawyers said Thursday. 

               Myanmar's military government did not immediately
               respond to requests for confirmation of the

               The Burma Lawyers Council said it had received
               information from inside Myanmar, also known as
               Burma, that the sentences were handed down Jan.

               "Lengthy jail sentences are imposed to silence the
               opposition and do not reflect any crimes that are
               alleged to have been committed," the lawyers said. 

               Some student leaders were given sentences of up
               to 52 years in prison, the council said, adding the
               students had been arrested for supporting
               opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi's attempt to
               convene parliament. Suu Kyi won a Nobel Peace
               prize for her pro-democracy efforts. 

               "Such ridiculously lengthy sentences imposed for
               seeking basic human rights makes a mockery of
               justice in Burma?" the lawyers said. "Trials are
               brief, farcical and convictions inevitable, as they
               are predetermined by the military." 

               Nearly 1,000 members of Suu Kyi's political party,
               the National League for Democracy, and other
               supporters were arrested to prevent the parliament
               from convening. 

               The NLD won 82 percent of the seats in the
               legislative body in a 1990 election, but the military
               refused to honor the result.