Conviction of Aung Kyaw and Zaw Zaw is a big step backwards for democracy in Myanmar.
AJF condemns the conviction of journalists Aung Kyaw and Zaw Zaw in Myanmar.
Kyaw, a journalist for the Democratic Voice of Burma, and Zaw, a journalist with Mizzima news – both respected publications – have been sentenced to two years in prison, under Section 505(a) of the penal code.
Almost all journalists who have been arrested during the conflict since February 1 have faced the same charge. The law criminalizes the dissemination of information that could incite state officials, security forces and the public to mutiny, according to newsreports.
Aung Kyaw was reportedly arrested from home, while Zaw Zaw was arrested whilst trying to cover a protest. Both in Myeik Township, Tanintharyi Region.
AJF Spokesperson Peter Greste says:
“These convictions are deeply troubling. Convicting and sentencing two journalists, who were simply doing the essential job of reporting during the conflict, bodes extremely poorly for the recovery of democracy in Myanmar.
“If the Military want to be recognised and respected they need to reverse these convictions immediately, release the journalists and allow all journalists to continue doing their work.”