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Myanmar sentences 3 aid workers to prison for violence

A Myanmar court sentenced 3 aid workers, including 2 United Nations staff members, to prison for involvement in ethnic violence.

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Myanmar's ethnic Rohingya Muslims display placards near the British embassy in Kuala Lumpur on July 19, 2012. Rohingya refugees protested outside the British High Commission to end violence and humanitarian crisis against Rohingya in Arakan State in Burma. (AFP/AFP/Getty Images)

A court in Myanmar sentenced three aid workers to prison for their involvement in the sectarian clashes that killed dozens in the west of Myanmar earlier this year, according to CNN.

Two of the aid workers were United Nations employees, a UN spokesman confirmed on Monday. One was an employee of the UN refugee agency and the other was part of the UN World Food Program, according to the Associated Press.

UN spokesman Aye Win said the district court in Maungdaw handed down the sentences on Friday, according to Voice of America. Details of the case have not been explained by the authorities and the UN was not informed if the trial in advance, he said.

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Hla Thein, chairman of the government's Rakhine Riot Information Committee, told VOA that one of the aid workers was found guilty of arson and others were found guilty of inciting violence and promoting hatred.

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The UN said in July that 10 aid workers were detained for "questioning," following the unrest in June between Buddhists and Muslims in the Burmese state of Rakhine, according to CNN. The violence resulted in hundreds of homes being destroyed and tens of thousands being displaced.

The AP noted that two employees of the aid group Doctors Without Borders were still being detained, as well as two Myanmar nationals for the UN refugee agency.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/myanmar/120827/myanmar-sentences-3-aid-workers-prison-violence