YANGON (AFP)--Military-ruled Myanmar has filed criminal charges against 10 activists arrested in August over rallies that snowballed into mass demonstrations against the regime, a lawyer said Tuesday.
Prominent pro-democracy leaders including Min Ko Naing and Ko Ko Gyi were among those charged under a law that bans unregistered groups from making statements, said the lawyer for the opposition National League for Democracy.
"They are likely to face trials behind closed doors inside Insein Prison," lawyer Aung Thein told AFP.
"I am ready to defend them, but so far I have not been allowed to meet with them," he added.
Each could be sentenced up to seven years in prison, Aung Thein said, adding that it wasn't clear what statement the activists had been accused of making.
The lawyer said he only learned of the charges from relatives of the activists, who found out while visiting them in prison last week.
Min Ko Naing and Ko Ko Gyi were among the top student leaders of a pro- democracy uprising in 1988, and both have already served lengthy prison sentences.
They formed the 88 Generation Student Group after their release about four years ago. The group spearheaded demonstrations against the government in August, in anger over a massive hike in fuel prices.
After their arrest, Buddhist monks began leading the protests, which turned into the biggest threat to military rule since the 1988 uprising.
Min Ko Naing's group isn't recognized by the government.