Myanmar journalist Zaw Zaw is serving a three-year prison sentence 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.
On August 24, 2022, a court in Mandalay’s Obo Prison convicted and sentenced Zaw Zaw under Article 505(a) of the penal code, a broad provision that criminalizes incitement and the dissemination of false news,” according to news reports.
His lawyer, Myo Min Zaw, told The Irrawaddy that police submitted the case against Zaw Zaw to the court two days before his trial and conviction. The lawyer said the charges accused him of inciting the destabilization of the country using Facebook and by taking photos of anti-regime protests and the junta’s violent crackdowns.
Zaw Zaw, who previously worked as a photographer at The Irrawaddy, was arrested on April 10, 2022, in the central city of Mandalay while with his family, according to the news reports. He was sent to Mandalay’s Obo Prison in May after being held at the Mandalay Palace interrogation center for more than a month, news reports said.
Myanmar’s Ministry of Information did not reply to CPJ’s emailed request for comment on Zaw Zaw’s conviction, sentencing and situation in prison in late 2022.