By Jonathan Head
South East Asia correspondent, BBC News
Burma saw rare protests in late 2007
The Burmese authorities have sentenced an activist to life in prison for mounting a silent protest at the US embassy in Rangoon in August last year.
At a closed trial inside the notorious Insein prison, Ohn Than was sentenced and a given a fine of less than $1.
This, for a protest in which he did not utter a word, but instead carried a placard, calling for parliament to reconvene and prices to be reduced.
Thousands of people were held during anti-government rallies last year.
Many have been given heavy jail sentences.
Ohn Than was one of the first to come out against a dramatic rise in fuel prices last August; then the demonstrations were small and easily contained.
A month later, with Buddhist monks leading them, they numbered tens of thousands, and ended only when troops opened fire on them.
Ohn Than would have known what he was risking. A veteran anti-government activist, he had been detained several times before for similar protests.
At his trial he argued that pro-government groups were permitted to demonstrate freely and noisily outside the US embassy at the same time - but to no avail.
All the international pressure on Burma's rulers since last September has done little to soften their intolerance of opposition.