Bangkok, Oct 23 (DPA) A journalist protection group Saturday condemned a 13-year prison sentence given to Myanmar editor Nyi Nyi Tun, noting that the military-ruled country is second only to China in Asia in its number of jailed journalists.
On Oct 13 a Yangon court found Nyi Nyi Tun, editor of the now defunct Kandarawaddy news journal, guilty of "crimes against the state", and sentenced him to 13 years in jail.
"The bogus charges and harsh sentencing of Nyi Nyi Tun make a mockery of the ruling junta's professed transition towards democracy," said Shawn Crispin, senior South-east Asia representative of the New York-based Committee for Protection of Journalists (CPJ).
Myanmar's junta will stage a general election on Nov 7, the first in 20 years, as part of their seven-step path to "discipline flourishing democracy".
"A free press is essential to a functioning democracy - a reality Burma's journalist-jailing junta still hasn't grasped," Crispin said.
Nyi Nyi Tun was arrested Oct 14, 2009, on subversion charges. His Kandarawaddy journal was shut down.
CPJ research shows that Myanmar, also called Burma, has at least 12 journalists in prison, the second-highest tally in Asia after only China.