Myanmar jails reporters, newspaper boss for 10 years

YANGON, July 10 Thu Jul 10, 2014 10:55pm IST

Related Topics

YANGON, July 10 (Reuters) - Four journalists and a newspaper boss were sentenced in Myanmar on Thursday to 10 years' jail with hard labour for reporting about an alleged chemical weapons factory, legal and media sources said.

A court in the central town of Pakokku handed down the sentences to four reporters and the chief executive of the Unity newspaper.

Lu Maw Naing, Yarzar Oo, Paing Thet Kyaw, Sithu Soe and Tint San were arrested earlier this year under Myanmar's 1923 Official Secrets Act after reporting that a factory under the control of the Ministry of Defence was producing chemical weapons. The government denied the allegations.

“This is a very dark day for freedom of expression in Myanmar. These five media workers have done nothing but cover a story that is in the public interest,” said Rupert Abbott, Amnesty International’s Deputy Asia-Pacific Director.

On Tuesday, media widely reported that three editors from the Bi Mon Te Nay journal had been detained after publishing an article saying opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and some ethnic leaders had been appointed to an interim government.

Myanmar's two-year experiment with press freedom at first moved rapidly under President Thein Sein, a former military commander whose reforms since 2011 have helped persuade Europe and the United States to roll back crippling trade sanctions.

However, a string of arrests over the past seven months have reversed the trend.

“The authorities are continuing to rely on draconian laws to silence dissenting views or fair reporting, just like the previous military government did,” said Amnesty’s Abbott.

(Reporting by Aung Hla Tun and Paul Mooney; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

TOP SHOWCASE

Tax Regime

Tax Regime

New govt promises low and stable tax regime for economic revival  Full Article 

Mideast Conflict

Mideast Conflict

Israel rejects ceasefire plan, source says as death toll nears 850  Full Article 

Jadeja Fined

Jadeja Fined

Jadeja fined over Anderson altercation in first test  Full Article 

India Insight

India Insight

Markandey Katju: Ex-India Supreme Court judge stirs the pot.  Full Article 

Army in Islamabad

Army in Islamabad

Wary Pakistan puts military in charge of capital's security  Full Article 

Motor Racing

Motor Racing

Force India happy to retain drivers, says Mallya  Full Article 

Drogba's Back

Drogba's Back

Chelsea re-sign striker Drogba  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage