The Committee to Protect Journalists has the release of three Kanbawza Tai News journalists, who have been behind bars since March for covering the anti-coup protests in Myanmar and were last week sentenced to three years in prison. The CPJ has demanded that all cases against the journalists be quashed.
Editor Nang Nang Tai, reporter Nann Win Yi, and publisher Tin Aung Kyaw were sentenced to three years in prison and charged under Article 505 (a) of the penal code, which criminalises “any attempt to cause fear, spread false news, [or] agitate directly or indirectly a criminal offense against a government employee” or actions which cause “hatred, disobedience, or disloyalty toward the military and the government”.
According to Kanbawza Tai News chief editor Zay Tai, the three journalists were arrested on March 24 for covering protests against the military coup which took place in February. They have been in detention since then.
The report also states that while the three journalists were allowed access to lawyers, they were not allowed to meet family members.
In the statement, CPJ’s senior Southeast Asia representative, Shawn Crispin said, “Myanmar’s coup government must immediately release journalists Nang Nang Tai, Nann Win Yi, and Tin Aung Kyaw, and stop prosecuting members of the press for merely gathering and presenting the news.”
Since the military coup, Myanmar has seen a heavy crackdown on independent media and has detained dozens of journalists, becoming the second worst jailer of journalists according to the .
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