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Female journalist sentenced to two years for taking photos of Cyclone Nargis victims

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders and the Burma Media Association are outraged by the two-year sentence passed on 14 November 2008 on Ein Khaing Oo, a 24-year-old journalist with the weekly "Ecovision Journal", for taking photos of Cyclone Nargis victims. Ein Khaing Oo was arrested in Rangoon in June 2008.

"This unjust sentence comes amid a wave of unprecedented sentences for journalists and activists," the two organisations said. "We appeal to Burma's military authorities to free Ein Khaing Oo, whose only crime was to cover the humanitarian disaster in the Irrawaddy delta."

According to Mizzima News, the sentence was handed down on 14 November by a Rangoon court at the end of a trial held behind closed doors and with no defence lawyer. Ein Khaing Oo was accused of taking photos that could be used by foreign news media. Arrested on 10 June while covering a demonstration by Nargis victims outside a UN building in Rangoon, she has already spent five months in Insein prison.

Another journalist, Zaw Thet Htwe, and a blogger, Zarganar, are also being held for helping Nargis victims. Zarganar was arrested after giving an interview to a BBC television reporter. Verdicts are expected in their cases in the coming days.

The toll from Cyclone Nargis' passage across Burma in May was around 130,000 people dead or missing.

For further information on the Zaw Thet Htwe and Zarganar cases, see:

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