Ashin Gambira’s prison term reduced by five years
Friday, 26 June 2009 16:17
Chiang Mai (mizzima) – Monk Ashin Gambira, arrested and sentenced to 68 years in prison for his lead role in anti-junta protests in September 2007 has had his prison term reduced by five years by a district court in Insein prison on Thursday.
The western district court reduced the sentence of Gambira, leader of the All Burma Buddhist Monks Association by five years. He was charged under the Electronics Act. The reverend monk, who was charged on 16 counts, will now have to serve 63 years in prison.
The Electronics Act 33 (a) stipulates that using the internet without the permission of the authorities is an offence and is punishable. The law became a tool for the authorities to sentence the reverend monk, who took a lead role in the September 2007 monk-led protests.
Lawyers of the monk, who is 29, and is currently detained in a prison in Kalemyo in Sagaing division, have appealed to the district court. The court said the appeals were late and rejected appeals for seven counts.
The legal counsels have now, submitted appeals on the other nine counts, and the court has scheduled a session on June 29.
Ashin Gambira, however, denied appealing but the lawyers have been acting on the request of his parents.
Authorities have also arrested the monk’s elder brother Aung Kyaw Kyaw and sentenced him to 14 years in prison. He is currently detained in Tuaggyi prison in Shan state. Similarly, his younger brother Aung Ko Ko Lwin and brother-in-law Moe Htet Lian were also arrested and sentenced to five years each and are respectively in Kyuak Pyu prison in Arakan state and Moulmein prison in Mon state.