Freelance reporter Nyein Chan Wai is serving an 11-year sentence for terrorism and criminal incitement, charges Myanmar’s military regime has used broadly to stifle independent news reporting since staging a democracy-suspending coup in 2021.
On March 28, 2022, Nyein Chan Wai was convicted and sentenced under Article 505(a) of the penal code, a broad provision that criminalizes incitement and the dissemination of false news, according to a database maintained by the local rights group Assistance Association of Political Prisoners (AAPPB) and a separate database compiled by the Detained Journalists Information Myanmar private Facebook group, which CPJ reviewed.
The same month, Nyein Chan Wai was also convicted and sentenced to eight years in prison under Section 124(c) of the Counter Terrorism Law, according to news reports and DJIM’s database.
Nyein Chan Wai, who contributes 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 AAPPB.
He is being held at Tharyawady Prison, according to the association’s data. CPJ’s messages requesting comment sent to Bago Weekly’s Facebook page, which appeared to be inactive, went unanswered.
His arrest came in the wake of the military’s February 1, 2021, democracy-suspending coup and subsequent protests, with the junta detaining dozens of journalists as it cracked down on Myanmar’s independent media.
The Ministry of Information did not reply to CPJ’s emailed request for sent in late 2022 for comment on his conviction and treatment in detention.