Nay Phone Latt (Nay Myo Kyaw)

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Nay Phone Latt, also known as Nay Myo Kyaw, wrote a blog and owned three Internet cafés in Rangoon. He was arrested under the 1950 Emergency Provision Act on national security-related charges, according to news reports. His blog posts provided breaking news updates on the military’s crackdown on the 2007 Saffron Revolution, and the reports were cited by a number of international news outlets, including the BBC. He also served as a youth member of the opposition National League for Democracy party, according to Reuters.

In July 2008, a court formally charged Nay Phone Latt with causing public offense and violating video and electronic laws when he posted caricatures of ruling generals on his blog, Reuters reported.

During closed judicial proceedings at Insein Prison on November 10, 2008, Nay Phone Latt was sentenced to 20 years and six months in prison, according to the Burma Media Association, a press freedom advocacy group, and news reports. He was transferred from Insein to Pa-an Prison in Karen state in late 2008, news reports said. The Rangoon Divisional Court later reduced the prison sentence to 12 years on appeal.

In 2010, he was honored with the prestigious PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award for his creative and courageous blog postings. At the New York ceremony honoring him, chairwoman Tina Brown read a statement that Nay Phone Latt managed to dispatch from prison: “This award is dedicated to all writing hands which are tightly restricted by the unfairness and are strongly eager for the freedom to write, all over the world.”