Myanmar journalist Tin Shwe, also known as Minbu, is serving a three-year sentence for criminal incitement, a charge Myanmar’s military regime has used widely to stifle independent news reporting since staging a democracy-suspending coup in 2021.
On January 24, 2022, Tin Shwe was convicted and sentenced under Article 505(a) of the penal code, a broad provision that criminalizes incitement and the dissemination of false news, according to a database maintained by the Assistance Association of Political Prisoners rights group and a separate database compiled by the Detained Journalists Information Myanmar private Facebook group, which CPJ reviewed.
Tin Shwe, a reporter for the Magway Post news website, was arrested on March 26, 2021, while reporting on a protest against the military junta in Minbu town, Magwe Region, according to a report by Democratic Voice of Burma and AAPPB’s database.
His arrest came in the wake of the military’s February 1, 2021, democracy-suspending coup and subsequent protests. Myanmar’s military junta has detained dozens of journalists in its crackdown on Myanmar’s independent media.
On March 13, 2021, he had reported on protest-related violence and arrests in Magwe, according to social media posts that cited his work. Magway Post did not reply to CPJ’s messages requesting comment on Tin Shwe’s status sent via Facebook messenger. The news group’s Facebook page was set to private in late September 2022.
Tin Shwe was being held at Magwe Prison while in pretrial detention but it was unclear where he was detained after his conviction, according to AAPPB’s database.
The Ministry of Information did not reply to CPJ’s emailed request sent in late 2022 for comment on his legal status and treatment in detention.