Today, a Myanmar court found American Nyi Nyi Aung guilty on false charges and sentenced him to 5 years in a Myanmar prison, including hard labor. The judge commuted the sentence to 3 years. Nyi Nyi was found guilty of forging a national identity card; failing to declare currencies at customs; and failing to renounce his Myanmar citizenship.

Freedom Now President Jared Genser stated: “Nyi Nyi Aung has been illegally and unjustly convicted on sham charges because of his tireless advocacy for democracy and human rights in Myanmar. We call on President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton to make Nyi Nyi’s release a priority in the U.S. government’s relations with Myanmar.”

Nyi Nyi was arrested at the Rangoon airport on September 3, 2009, attempting to visit his mother, also an imprisoned democracy activist, who has cancer and is being denied medical treatment. Since his detention, the junta has tortured Nyi Nyi, denied him consular access, denied him access to his lawyers, and denied him a public trial. These are extraordinary violations of international and Myanmar domestic law.

Upon hearing the news, Wa Wa Kyaw, Nyi Nyi’s fiancé who lives in Maryland stated, “All of Myanmar knows that these are bogus charges. The junta is looking to stifle Nyi Nyi just as they have the 2,100 other political prisoners in Myanmar. I can only hope that the Government of the United States won’t let Myanmar illegally imprison its own citizen.”

Nyi Nyi Aung suffers severe violations of his human rights and faces 3 years in Myanmar prison on trumped-up charges, motivated to silence his activism.