Police arrested Thet Zin, the editor of weekly Myanmar Nation, and its manager, Sein Win Maung, during a raid on the newspaper’s offices on February 15, according to local and international news reports. Police also seized the journalists’ cell phones, footage of monk-led antigovernment demonstrations that took place in Burma in September 2007, and a report by Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, U.N. special rapporteur for human rights in Burma , according to Aung Din, director of the Washington-based U.S. Campaign for Burma . The report detailed killings associated with the military government’s crackdown on the 2007 demonstrators.
Thet Zin’s wife, Khin Swe Myint, met with him after his arrest, according to Aung Din. Thet Zin did not tell his wife what charges he was facing but said the prison term could amount to 10 years, Aung Din told CPJ. He suffered from heart and lung ailments; family members were allowed to deliver him medication.
The New Delhi-based Mizzima news agency cited family members as saying the two were first detained in the Thingangyun Township police station before being charged with illegal printing and publishing on February 25.
On November 28, a closed court at the Insein Prison compound sentenced each to seven years in prison.
Police ordered Myanmar Nation’s staff to stop publishing temporarily, according to the Burma Media Association, a press freedom advocacy group with representatives in Bangkok. The news Web site Irrawaddy said the newspaper was allowed to resume publishing in March; by October, exile groups said, the journal had shut down for lack of leadership.
Thet Zin was previously arrested in 1988 for his participation in pro-democracy student demonstrations during which the government killed as many as 3,000 protesters.