Min Nyo, who worked for the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) in the Bago region of Myanmar, was arrested on March 3 and sentenced to three years in prison.
A Myanmar journalist who reported on anti-military government protests has been jailed for three years for incitement, his news organization said, while authorities announced that a Japanese journalist arrested twice would be released.
Min Nyo, who worked for the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) in the Bago region of Myanmar, was arrested on March 3 and found guilty by a military tribunal in one of the first verdicts against media workers since military coup of February 1st.
“DVB demands military authority to immediately release Min Nyo, as well as other journalists detained or convicted throughout Myanmar,” he said on Thursday.
Police had beaten him and his family’s visits had been denied.
Tom Andrews, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Myanmar, also denounced the ruling and said: “The world cannot continue to sit quietly as the board’s repression machine imprisons the truth and those at risk to reveal it “.
In its state-run nightly newsletter, MRTV said another journalist, Yuki Kitazumi, accused under the same law as Min Nyo, had broken the law, but would be released in recognition of the close relationship. of Myanmar with Japan.
Kitazumi, who runs a media company in Yangon, was arrested on April 19 for the second time since the coup and was the first foreign journalist charged.
Japan was a major investor and source of technical assistance and development assistance to Myanmar’s semi-civilian governments during the ten years of democracy and reform that followed the end of the last era of military government in 2011.
Risk to life and liberty
Myanmar has been in turmoil since the coup, with the army struggling to impose order amid public outrage over the overthrow of Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government.
Many journalists are among the nearly 4,900 people who have been arrested, according to the advocacy group of the Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP).
The DVB is among the various media outlets that have revoked military licenses, restricted access to the Internet and used lethal force to suppress strikes and protests across the country. According to AAPP figures, at least 785 people have been killed by security forces.
Three of the DVB journalists were arrested in northern Thailand this week for illegal entry after fleeing Myanmar. Human rights groups have called on Thailand not to deport them.
Emerlynne Gil, Amnesty International’s deputy regional director, said Myanmar’s generals had effectively criminalized journalism.
“They risk their lives and their freedom to shed light on the abuses of the military. The military authorities are relentless, determined to crush dissent by silencing those who try to expose their crimes, “Gil said in a statement.
Resistance to the army has intensified in recent weeks, with hostilities resuming between the military and several ethnic minority armies, deadly attacks on administrators appointed by the military government and ambushes by police and soldiers by the militias that called themselves People’s Defense Forces.
MRTV announced on Thursday that martial law had been declared due to the riots in Mindut, northwest of Chin State. Resistance groups say there has been heavy fighting between armed civilians and military government troops.
Meanwhile, protests across the country continue on Friday, with protesters on motorbikes taking to the streets in Mogaung in Kachin state and dozens of protesters marching in Mandalay despite threats of violent military repression.
Also on Thursday night, student candle strikes were held in Mingaladon, north of Yangon, the city and the country’s largest economic center.