Myanmar freelance journalist Myo Min Tun is serving a two-year prison 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.
On August 10, 2022, a court in Pathein Prison convicted and sentenced him to two years in prison under Article 505(a) of the penal code, a broad provision that criminalizes incitement and the dissemination of false news, according to a local independent Network Media Group report and social media posts.
The news report quoted a family member who spoke on condition of anonymity that “he posted photos of protests on his Facebook page and interviewed government workers who joined the Civil Disobedience Movement, which is why the military arrested him.”
The six months that he spent in pretrial detention will be counted against his sentence, the news report said. Myo Min Tun declined legal representation during his trial because he thought his conviction and sentencing were predetermined, the report said.
Myo Min Tun, who worked as an editor with the local Ayeyarwaddy Times and a senior reporter with Myit Makha News Group, was arrested by police and military authorities at his home in Pathein on October 22, 2021, according to the NMG report. He will serve his sentence in Pathein Prison, the report said.
Neither Ayeyarwaddy Times nor Myit Makha News Group responded to CPJ’s request for comment on Myo Min Tun’s status in detention sent by email and Facebook messenger.
Myanmar’s Ministry of Information did not reply to CPJ’s emailed request for comment on Myo Min Tun’s conviction, sentencing, and detention in late 2022.
Myo Min Tun was not included on the 2021 census because CPJ was not aware of his case at the time.