A prominent blogger in Myanmar has been sentenced to more than 20 years in prison afrter a court found him guilty of creating public alarm and possessing a banned video, reported Aljazeera.
Nay Phone Latt, who was arrested following massive anti-government protests last year, is to serve his sentence in Yangon's Insein prison, an opposition spokesman said on Tuesday.
He was sentenced on Monday along with with Saw Wai, a poet who was accused of penning a secret anti-government message in one of his works.
He was not represented by his lawyer during his trial, Aye Than, his mother, said.
"My son is a computer expert and he has not violated any criminal law ... it is very unfair," she said, adding that she was not allowed to attend the trial.
His lawyer began serving a four-month prison sentence for contempt of court last Friday.
Philip Robertson, the director of Asia Human Rights Labour Advocates, told Al Jazeera that Myanmar's government was "taking advantage of the inattention of the international community to really throw the book at a number of people".
"Post [Cyclone] Nargis, the international community's attention has moved elsewhere so we're seeing a larger crackdown all over Myanmar, with student leaders, monks, and even senior lawyers working for the National League for Democracy [NLD] being thrown in jail," he said.
A spokesman for the opposition NLD described Nay Phone Latt, a former party member, as "a young and intelligent blogger and computer expert".
"The government is expediting the trials of political prisoners and many have been given lengthy prison sentences," said Nyan Win, a spokesman for the party, whose leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel peace laureate, has been under detention for more than 12 of the past 18 years.
Nyan Win also said that Tun Tun Naing, a party youth member who was arrested last year, was sentenced to 19 years in prison on Friday.
Saw Wai, the poet sentenced with Nay Phone Latt, was arrested after publishing a Valentine's Day poem, "February 14", in a popular weekly entertainment magazine.
The first word of each line in the eight-line poem spelled out the phrase: "Power Crazy Senior General Than Shwe," a reference to the leader of the country's military government.
News of the convictions came as George Bush, the outgoing US president, nominated Michael Green, a former top adviser on Asian affairs, to be his special envoy and policy chief for Myanmar.
If confirmed by the US senate, Green "will serve as our main interlocutor with other countries and organisations as we attempt to help the Burmese people" Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for the US National Security Council, said.
The post was created by the US congress with an eye on increasing pressure on the military government of Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.