Aung San Lin

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Myanmar journalist Aung San Lin is serving a six-year sentence with hard labor for criminal incitement and terrorism, charges Myanmar’s military regime has used broadly to stifle independent news reporting since staging a democracy-suspending coup in 2021. 

On July 7, 2022, a Wetlet Township court in Sagaing convicted and sentenced Democratic Voice of Burma journalist Aung San Lin to six years in prison with hard labor, with four years under Section 52(b) of the Counter Terrorism Law and two years under Section 505(a) of the penal code, which criminalizes incitement and the dissemination of “false news,” according to DVB and other news reports.

Aung San Lin was arrested on December 11, 2021, by about 20 soldiers who raided his home around midnight in the Sagaing Region’s village of Pin Zin, shortly after he published an anonymous report alleging that military forces committed arson attacks on the Wetlet Township-based homes of three supporters of the coup-ousted National League for Democracy.

DVB editor-in-chief Aye Chan Naing told CPJ via email that Aung San Lin was tortured during interrogations after his arrest, which resulted in numbness and pain in his leg and frequent headaches. 

Aye Chan Naing said authorities refused to tell his family where he was being held for over a month and that his wife later received an anonymous phone call demanding that she pay a bribe if she wanted to see him alive. Aye Chan Naing said she and DVB refused to pay.

Aung San Lin was still being held at Wetlet Police Station in late September, despite the court’s ruling he would serve his sentence at Shwebo Prison near the central city of Mandalay, according to DVB representative Chan Chan, who communicated with CPJ via email. 

The Ministry of Information did not reply to CPJ’s emailed request for comment on Aung San Lin’s conviction, sentencing, and status in prison in late 2022.