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Myanmar Lawyer Jailed

September 14, 2000

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) _ A 77-year-old lawyer has been sentenced to 14 years in jail for allegedly distributing foreign press clippings with anti-government slogans written on the back, legal sources in Myanmar said Thursday.

Cheng Poh, a well-known lawyer in Myanmar, was arrested in July. He was sentenced Wednesday by a special court, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Myanmar’s government was not immediately available for comment.

The sources said state prosecutors accused Cheng Poh of copying anti-government foreign media publications and distributing them with statements written on the back, such as ``No Freedom, Our Mouths Are Sealed.″

Myanmar, also known as Burma, is ruled by an unelected military regime that faces widespread international censure for its human rights record. It keeps a tight control on all media and is intolerant of any dissent.

Earlier this month, the government closed down the headquarters of the opposition National League for Democracy and put its top nine leaders, including 1991 Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, under virtual house arrest. The government says the NLD is being investigated for suspected links with terrorists.

The NLD won national elections in 1990 but was never allowed to take office.

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