Thaung Win

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Thaung Win, publisher of the local independent news publication The Irrawaddy, was arrested in September 2022 and sentenced to five years in prison on anti-state charges in June 2023.

On September 29, 2022, police officers arrested Thaung Win at his home in Yangon and took him to an interrogation center, according to The Irrawaddy’s editor-in-chief Aung Zaw, who communicated with CPJ by email and messaging app, and CPJ reporting

On the same night, Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officials searched the home of a senior The Irrawaddy editor in Yangon and interrogated his parents and siblings about his whereabouts, said Aung Zaw, who received CPJ’s International Press Freedom Award in 2014. 

The journalist’s arrest came in the wake of the military’s February 1, 2021, democracy-suspending 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 October 14, 2022, Myanmar’s junta announced on state television that it would take legal action against The Irrawaddy for reporting that military forces opened fire on Buddhist pilgrims during an October 12 firefight with anti-junta insurgents in eastern Mon State, news reports said.

On June 28, 2023, the Western Yangon District Court sentenced Thaung Win to five years in prison under Article 124(a) of the penal code, which covers penalties for sedition, according to The Irrawaddy and Aung Zaw, who communicated with CPJ by email after the verdict. 

Taung Win was being held at Yangon’s Insein Prison and in good health in late 2023, according to Aung Zaw. He faced additional charges of raising funds for a banned media group in late year, Aung Zaw said. 

The Ministry of Information did not reply to CPJ’s October 2023 emailed request for comment on Thaung Win’s conviction or his health and treatment in prison.