A Myanmar journalist has been sentenced to jail for three years after reporting on the anti-junta protests currently engulfing the country.
Min Nyo, a journalist for the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB), was convicted under the recently revised Penal Code in military court on Wednesday. Section 505 makes it an offence to publish or circulate “any statement, rumor or report (a) with intent to cause … any [soldier] to mutiny or otherwise disregard [their duty].” This is one of the first verdicts against media workers since the military coup.
“The conviction and three-year sentence handed down to Min Nyo show the appalling situation faced by journalists in Myanmar, where they risk life and liberty to shed light on the military’s abuses,” said Emerlynne Gil, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for Southeast & East Asia. “The military authorities are ruthless, determined to crush dissent by silencing those who seek to expose their crimes.”
Myanmar has been in turmoil since the military takeover of the democratically elected government and the detainment of leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The military has struggled to seize control over the region as protests and demonstrations against the military have continued since the coup. Detentions and violent military actions have been reported nearly daily in the region, including reports of disruptions to Myanmar’s internet connection. The US recently imposed sanctions against Myanmar companies in response to the continued violence by the military.
Nearly 4000 people have been arrested according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, including many journalists.