Kyaw Swar Tun

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Myanmar journalist Kyaw Swar Tun, a reporter with the local news outlet Mizzima, is serving a three-year sentence for criminal incitement, a charge Myanmar’s military regime has used broadly to stifle independent news reporting since staging a democracy-suspending coup in 2021. 

Kyaw Swar Tun was arrested while flying a drone on September 8, 2022, in downtown Yangon, according to Mizzima editor-in-chief Soe Myint, who communicated with CPJ via email.

Kyaw Swar Tun had also previously reported for the local 7Day TV and Myanmar Pressphoto Agency. 

The journalist’s arrest came in the wake of the military’s February 1, 2021, coup and subsequent protests. Since then, the military junta has engaged in an ongoing crackdown on Myanmar’s independent media, detaining and sentencing dozens of journalists.

Soe Myint said Kyaw Swar Tun was not reporting on a Mizzima assignment at the time of his arrest. Mizzima is among several local publications that the military junta regime has banned the coup. 

He was sentenced in January 2023 under Article 505(a) of the penal code, a broad provision that criminalizes incitement and the dissemination of false news, Soe Myint told CPJ via email. 

He was being held at Yangon’s Insein Prison in late 2023, according to Soe Myint.

Kyaw Sar Tun suffered from skin diseases and eye ailments while in detention, Soe Myint told CPJ in late October 2023. 

The Ministry of Information did not reply to CPJ’s October 2023 emailed request for comment sent on Kyaw Swar Tun’s conviction, legal status, health, and treatment in prison.