Than Soe Aung

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Myanmar journalist Than Soe Aung is serving a five-year prison sentence for terrorism, a charge Myanmar’s military regime has used broadly to stifle independent news reporting since staging a democracy-suspending coup in 2021. 

Than Soe Aung was arrested on March 7, 2022, in Namsan in Shan State, according to multiple news reports

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.

On May 18, the Namsan Township Court convicted and sentenced Than Soe Aung to five years in prison for violating Section 52(a) of the Counter Terrorism Law, reports said. 

His conviction and sentencing was confirmed by a database compiled by the Assistance Association of Political Prisoners monitoring group and a separate database maintained by the Detained Journalists Information Myanmar private Facebook group, which CPJ reviewed. 

U.S. Congress-funded Radio Free Asia reported Than Soe Aung was convicted for posting a news story about People’s Defense Forces opposed to military rule on his Facebook page. An unnamed family friend quoted in the report said Than Soe Aung suffers from diabetes. 

CPJ could not determine where Than Soe Aung was being detained in late 2023. 

Myanmar’s Ministry of Information did not reply to CPJ’s October 2023 emailed request for comment on Than Soe Aung’s conviction, sentencing, health and treatment in prison.