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.
On May 18, 2022, the Namsan Township Court convicted and sentenced Than Soe Aung for violating Section 52(a) of the Counter Terrorism Law, which carries maximum seven-year prison penalties, according to multiple news reports.
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 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 anonymous friend of his family quoted in the report said that Than Soe Aung suffers from diabetes.
He was arrested on March 7, 2022, in Namsan, Shan State, the reports said. CPJ could not determine where he was being detained in late 2022. Myanmar’s Ministry of Information did not reply to CPJ’s emailed request for comment on Than Soe Aung’s conviction, sentencing and situation in prison in late 2022.