Myanmar journalist Wai Lynn was arrested by police in the commercial capital of Yangon on September 11, 2021, according to news reports. He is being held in pretrial detention in Yangon on anti-state charges.
Wai Lynn, a reporter at the local Thingangyun Post news site, faces charges under Article 505(a) of the penal code, according to those reports. 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.
Wai Lynn also faces terrorism charges, which carry a maximum 10-year prison sentence, according to local news reports. He was arraigned on the charges on October 27, 2021, the reports said.
On May 9, 2022, his lawyer, who requested anonymity due to fears of reprisal, was quoted in a Coconuts Yangon report saying the prosecutor in her case had failed to attend several scheduled hearings, resulting in delays in his trial.
Wai Lynn’s trial was ongoing in late 2022, according to the Detained Journalists Information Myanmar private Facebook group’s database, which CPJ reviewed.
His arrest came in the wake of the military’s February 1, 2021, democracy-suspending coup and subsequent protests. The military junta cracked down on Myanmar’s independent media, detaining dozens of journalists, according to those sources and CPJ research.
The Ministry of Information did not reply to CPJ’s emailed request sent in late 2022 for comment on the charges against Wai Lynn and his detention.