Thurein Kyaw

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Myanmar journalist Thurein Kyaw, founder and publisher of the independent outlet Media TOP 4, is serving a 10-year 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.

Thurein Kyaw was beaten by unidentified attackers on February 2, 2022, while covering a rally in support of the military junta in Yangon, according to news reportsphotographs of his injuries circulated online, and CPJ reporting.

Authorities in Yangon’s Insein Township arrested Thurein Kyaw at his home the following afternoon, according to those reports, which said that two other unidentified individuals were also arrested in the raid.

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 December 30, 2022, a court in Yangon sentenced Thurein Kyaw to 10 years in prison with hard labor under Article 49(a) of the Counter Terrorism Law, according to news reports

Media TOP 4 is a Facebook-based outlet that has covered local politics and news, including multiple bombings in early February 2022 that coincided with the one-year anniversary of the military’s coup, according to CPJ’s review of its Facebook page, which has about 86,000 followers. 

The page has not posted any new content since February 2, 2022, and states that it has “permanently closed.” CPJ emailed the outlet and sent a request for comment to its Facebook page, but did not receive any replies. 

Thurein Kyaw was being detained at Insein Prison in late 2023, according to a database compiled by the local rights group the Assistance Association of Political Prisoners. 

Myanmar’s Ministry of Information did not reply to CPJ’s October 2023 emailed request for comment on Thurein Kyaw’s conviction, legal status, health, and treatment in prison.