Kanbawza Tai News publisher Tin Aung Kyaw was arrested on March 24, 2021, at his home in Hopong, Shan State, after covering protests against the military’s February 1, 2021, democracy-suspending coup, according to the news reports and Kanbawza Tai News chief editor Zay Tai, who communicated with CPJ by messaging app.
Tin Aung Kyaw is being held at Taunggyi’s Taung Lay Lone Prison in Shan State on accusations under Article 505(a) of the penal code, according to the same sources. The broad provision criminalizes “any attempt to cause fear, spread false news or agitate directly or indirectly a criminal offense against a government employee” or that “causes their hatred, disobedience, or disloyalty toward the military and the government.” Convictions under the provision allow for a maximum three-year prison sentence.
The journalist had not been formally charged or allowed access to a lawyer as of October 1, Zay Tai told CPJ.
The military junta has cracked down on Myanmar’s independent media since the coup, detaining dozens of journalists, according to CPJ research.
The Ministry of Information did not reply to CPJ’s emailed request sent in late November 2021 for comment on his legal status and treatment in detention.