Myanmar journalist Aung Lwin, a contributor to Dawei Watch, is being held in pretrial detention for terrorism, a charge Myanmar’s military regime has used broadly to stifle independent news reporting since staging a democracy-suspending coup in 2021.
Aung Lwin, also known as Kan Pauk Thar, was arrested on April 8, 2022, in Dawei along with five other people, according to Thu Rein Hlaing, editor in chief of Dawei Watch, who communicated with CPJ by email.
Aung Lwin is charged under Article 52(a) of the Counter Terrorism Law, according to Thu Rein Hlaing, who said Aung Lwin’s trial was ongoing as of November 2022. Maximum penalties under Article 52(a) carry seven-year prison sentences.
Aung Lwin reports for Dawei Watch on politics, human rights and corruption, according to Thu Rein Hlaing. Aung Lwin was being held at Dawei Prison in late September, the publication’s editor-in-chief said.
Dawei Watch is firmly in the military regime’s crosshairs. Dawei Watch reporters Ko Zaw and Ma Moe Myint and the news site’s web designer Ko Thar Gyi were arrested at their homes on January 18 and 19, 2022, CPJ reported. Authorities also raided Dawei Watch’s office and seized documents and other items, news reports said.
They were held for eight days of questioning before being released without charge, according to Thu Rein Hlaing. He said many Dawei Watch staff, including himself, have fled the country due to concerns for their security.
Myanmar’s Ministry of Information did not reply to CPJ’s emailed request for comment on Aung Lwin’s legal status and detention in September 2022.