Myanmar military court gives DVB reporter 3 years in prison

May 13, 2021

A 51-year-old reporter for a now-banned online and broadcast news agency in Myanmar was sentenced Wednesday by a military court to three years in prison for his reporting, his employer said.

Min Nyo, a correspondent for the Democratic Voice of Burma is apparently the country’s first journalist since the army’s February takeover to be convicted under a recently revised provision in the Penal Code that critics charge criminalizes free speech.

It makes punishable by up to three years in prison any attempt to “hinder, disturb, damage the motivation, discipline, health and conduct” of soldiers and civil servants and cause their hatred, disobedience or disloyalty toward the military and the government.

Three DVB journalists who fled Myanmar were arrested earlier this week in northern Thailand for illegal entry. Rights groups and journalists’ associations are urging Thai authorities not to send them back to Myanmar, where it is feared their safety would be at risk from the authorities.

Myanmar’s junta has tried to smother all independent news media, and on March 8 revoked DVB’s TV license and banned it from broadcasting on any platform. Like many other banned media outlets, it has continued operating.

About 80 journalists have been arrested since the army seized power on Feb. 1, ousting the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi. Roughly half are still detained and most of them are being held under the same charge for which Min Nyo was convicted, as are many activists opposed to the military regime.

Source – AP

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