Win Naing Oo

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Myanmar journalist Win Naing Oo, chief reporter with the local Channel Mandalay TV news station, was arrested with his wife on August 31, 2021, in Mandalay, according to news reports and a database maintained by the Assistance Association of Political Prisoners, a local rights group. He is being held in pre-trial detention at the city’s Sint Kaing police station on anti-state charges, according to those sources. 

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.

Local reports said Win Naing Oo was initially charged under Article 505(a) of the penal code, a 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 that provision allow for a maximum three-year prison sentence. 

The 505(a) charge was changed in October to one of terrorism, according to a Myanmar Now report, citing his lawyer. 

A Democratic Voice of Burma report said Win Naing Oo has also been charged under Section 66(d) of the Telecommunications Law, a provision that criminalizes online defamation and allows for a three-year prison sentence, according to CPJ research

The Ministry of Information did not reply to CPJ’s emailed request sent in late November 2021 for comment on the charges against Win Naing Oo and his detention.