15 Nov 2008

Myanmar jails more democracy activists

10:30 pm on 15 November 2008

Courts in the Myanmar have sentenced 17 more democracy activists to between two and 16 years in jail.

The military rulers in the country formerly known as Burma are intensifying a campaign to crush political dissent before a 2010 election.

The latest sentences were handed down by secret courts in the main city Yangon - formerly Rangoon - and the second city of Mandalay.

They bring the total number of activists jailed in the last two weeks to more than 60.

Many of those jailed for up to 65 years were involved in last year's mass protests against rising fuel and food prices in the former Burma, which has been under military rule since 1962.

Many more rounded up during and after the protests are expected to be sentenced soon, with courts being ordered to work overtime and at weekends to clear the high number of outstanding cases.