Military Govt Prosecutes Reporters in Kachin State
By Network Media Group
Saturday, April 3, 2021
The military regime charged two Kachin reporters for violating an amended law of Burma’s Penal Code.
“Because they are prosecuted, we have to face this legal process. We will hire a lawyer for them,” said a coworker of one of the accused from The 74 Media. He said the two reporters were sent to prison in Myitkyina while awaiting trial on Friday, April 2.
On Thursday, authorities charged Ma Chan Bu, from The 74 Media, and Ko La Raw, from Kachin Waves, with violating Article 505/a in Myitkyina Township Court. If found guilty they will be sentenced to three years in prison.
The junta’s State Administration Council amended the law in February to prosecute the Civil Disobedience Movement. It punishes anyone for making or publishing comments causing—or intent to cause—fear, spread fake news and disrupt actions of government servants and the armed forces.
According to eyewitnesses, authorities arrested them when attacking a peaceful demonstration in Rampu Ward in Myitkyina on March 29.
On February 14, armed forces in Kachin State arrested Ko Htoi Awng, chief editor of The 74 Media and its cameraperson, Ko Nawng Seng, Ko Seng Lat Awng, with Mizzima, and Ko Yan Kawng and Ko Wai Yan, from Eternally Peace News Network. Two weeks later, Ko Pawng Lang Tawng with The 74 Media was arrested.
Authorities released all the journalists after Peace-talk Creation Group negotiated with armed forces.
According to Detained Journalists Myanmar, authorities arrested 58 journalists since the military took over the country. Twenty-seven are detained, with most of them prosecuted for violating Article 505/a.
At the beginning of March, the military government revoked operating licenses of Democratic Voice of Burma, Myanmar Now, Mizzima, 7Day News and Khit Thit Media. A lawsuit was launched against The Irrawaddy under Article 505/a.