Zarni Wah

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Myanmar journalist Zarni Wah is being held in pretrial detention for criminal incitement, a charge Myanmar’s military regime has used broadly to stifle independent news reporting since staging a democracy-suspending coup in 2021. 

Zarni Wah, a reporter with the local Sky Net broadcaster, was arrested at his home in Yangon’s Taung Ukkalap Township at around 1:00 a.m on March 12, 2022, according to local news reports. He was arrested soon after posting criticism of the military government on his personal Facebook page, the reports said.

Zarni Wah is charged under Article 505(a) of the penal code, a broad provision that criminalizes incitement and the dissemination of false news, according to a database compiled by the Detained Journalists Information Myanmar private Facebook group, which CPJ reviewed. Convictions under the provision allow for a maximum three-year prison sentence.

Zarni Wah was being held in Yangon at an undisclosed location in late 2022, according to DJIM’s database. Sky Net did not respond to CPJ’s request for comment sent by email.

The Ministry of Information did not reply to CPJ’s emailed request for comment sent in late 2022 on Zarni Wah’s legal status and treatment in detention.