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Court rejects Sithu Zeya’s appeal to drop Electronics Act charges

New Delhi (Mizzima) – An appeal by Sithu Zeya, who took pictures following bomb explosions at the Rangoon water festival in 2010, asking the court to drop charges under the Electronics Act has been rejected, according to family members.  
Sithu Zeya is serving an eight-year sentence under the Immigration Act and Unlawful Association Act.

Nine people were killed and more than 60 injured in a series of bomb explosions at the Rangoon Water Festival in 2010. Photo: MizzimaBecause of the court’s rejection of the appeal, Sithu Zeya, 23, who is in Insein Prison, will serve another seven to 15 years in prison, if the Mingalar Taungnyunt Township Court in Rangoon Region finds him guilty.  
On August 3, Aye Thein, Sithu Zeya’s lawyer, filed the appeal. He said the judges rejected it immediately without even reading the case.

Sithu Zeya is charged under the Electronics Act, which has been widely used by the former military junta to punish pro-democracy opposition members who disseminate information by electronic communication that is deemed to threaten security or harm the government. On August 9, defence witnesses testified in Mingalar Taungnyunt Township court.
Sithu Zeya was arrested for taking photos of the scene of an explosion at the X2O water festival pavilion in Rangoon in April 2010. Sithu Zeya’s father, a journalist, was also arrested.
His father, who is a reporter for the Norway-based Democratic Voice of Burma and is an anti-government activist, was also charged under the Electronics Act. He was sentenced to 13 years and is in Hsipaw Prison.
Earlier, family members told the exile media that Sithu Zeya was tortured during police interrogation. They said they reported the torture to the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Directorate of Prison Administration. About two weeks after the complaint, the authorities removed him from solitary confinement and stopped the interrogation, they said.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 10 August 2011 18:48 )  
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Since October this year, Burma has been in a state of civil war, with fighting between Burmese military and armed ethnic rebels. The ruling junta started a crackdown on these armed groups.

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