Burma Indicts Dissident Comedian

Leading opposition figure faces prison for aiding cyclone victims
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 7, 2008 9:54 AM CDT
Zarganar talks on his mobile phone at his home in Rangoon. He faces five counts of political offenses, according to reports.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – A popular comedian who became one of the most prominent critics of Burma's military government has been formally charged with several political offenses. Zarganar, who had been leading a citizen effort to aid victims of Cyclone Nargis, has been indicted on five counts, including unlawful association and creating public unrest.

Zarganar was arrested in June after he gave interviews to foreign media in which he criticized the junta's slow response to the cyclone, which killed more than 84,000 people. Three other people are being tried with him. Zarganar's sister-in-law said the comedian looked thin and pale when she and other relatives were allowed to see him and give him food.