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Rights Group Blasts Burma for Detention of Videographers


The Asian Human Rights Commission says it has information regarding two men imprisoned in Burma for allegedly possessing video images of the wedding of the daughter of the country's senior army officer.

In a statement released today, the Hong Kong-based rights group says the two men, Ko Than Htun and Ko Tin Htay, were arrested separately in March. It says they were convicted in April for having intended to incite public fear and for violations of video censorship regulations.

In a video obtained from one of the men by Burmese police, footage contained extravagant images of the wedding of the daughter of Senior General Than Shwe, the country's military ruler. The rights group says the video had been edited to contrast the opulent lifestyle of the military elite with images of children begging and widespread poverty in Burma.

The rights group says the two men were sentenced in April from two to four and a half years in prison -- both with hard labor. It says they are expected to appeal their convictions.

In March, the US State Department said Burma has one of the worst human rights records in the world. It accused the military-run government of using executions, rape, torture and random detentions -- particularly against ethnic minorities -- to maintain its grip on power.

The report also noted 1,100 political prisoners remain behind bars in Burma.

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