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Jailed photojournalist sentenced to 10 more years in prison

(Mizzima/IFEX) - Sithu Zeya, a photojournalist with the foreign-based Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) who took photographs following a bomb explosion at the Rangoon water festival in 2010, has been given an additional 10-year prison sentence by the Rangoon East District Court.

Earlier, Sithu Zeya, 23, was sentenced to eight years in prison under the Immigration Act and the Unlawful Association Act. Police interrogated him for more than six months and he was held at Insein Prison.

Judge San Yu Tin sentenced Sithu Zeya to an additional 10 years for breaching the Electronics Act. He must now serve 18 years in prison.

Sithu Zeya's mother Yi Yi Tint said, "They could not provide any evidence that he violated that act." She said the verdict would be appealed.

On September 14, Sithu Zeya, bound in fetters, went from Insein Prison to the court to appear at the two-hour hearing. He appeared to be in good health, his mother said.

Sithu Zeya's father was also charged under the Immigration Act, Unlawful Association Act and Electronics Act. In February, he was sentenced to 13 years and is now serving his sentence in Hsipaw Prison.

Ten people, including military officers, were killed and more than 170 people were injured in the bomb blasts at the X2O pavilion during the water festival in Rangoon on April 15, 2010. Sithu Zeya was arrested after the incident; his father's arrest followed.

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