Nyein Chan Wai

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Freelance reporter Nyein Chan Wai, who contributed to Bago Weekly Journal, an independent local news site, was arrested at his father-in-law’s house on May 15, 2021, by 40 arresting officers in Letbadan Township, Bago Region, according to local news reports and a database maintained by the Assistance Association of Political Prisoners, a local rights group. 

Nyein Chan Wai is being held at Tharyawady Prison on charges under Article 505(a) of the penal code, those reports said. The broad provision criminalizes “any attempt to cause fear, spread false news or agitate directly or indirectly a criminal offense against a government employee” or that “causes their hatred, disobedience, or disloyalty toward the military and the government.” Convictions under that provision allow for a maximum three-year prison sentence.

His arrest came in the wake of the military’s February 1, 2021, democracy-suspending coup and subsequent protests. The military junta cracked down on Myanmar’s independent media, detaining dozens of journalists, according to those sources and CPJ research.

The Ministry of Information did not reply to CPJ’s emailed request sent in late November 2021 for comment on his legal status and treatment in detention.