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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 January 2008, 12:45 GMT
Burma activists charged over demo
Burmese activist Min Ko Naing, file image
Former student leader Min Ko Naing was among those charged
Ten Burmese activists have been charged over last August's fuel price protests which grew into countrywide anti-government demonstrations.

The activists - including prominent pro-democracy leader Min Ko Naing - are accused of making illegal statements.

They are expected to be tried behind closed doors at Rangoon's Insein prison, where they have been held under emergency powers since the protests.

Rights groups say more than 700 people are still locked up after the protests.

But Burma's military rulers have denied the claims.

Aung Thein, a lawyer for the opposition National League for Democracy, said it was not clear what statements they were accused of making.

But he said each of the protesters could be jailed for seven years.

"I am ready to defend them, but so far I have not been allowed to meet them," he told AFP news agency.

Burma saw rare nationwide protests last August and September following an unexpected hike in the price of fuel.

Pro-democracy activists began the movement, which escalated into a huge monk-led demonstration against the ruling junta.

Government troops used force to end the protests, detaining thousands and killing at least 31, according to the UN.





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