Burmese journalist sentenced to 10 years in jail by military junta court

She is already serving a three-year term for defamation.
By RFA Burmese
2023.05.26
Burmese journalist sentenced to 10 years in jail by military junta court Hmu Yadanar Khet Moh Moh Tun, a camera operator with Myanmar Pressphoto Agency, was sentenced to 10 years with hard labor by a secret junta prison court in Yangon, Myanmar, May 26, 2023.
Citizen journalist

A Burmese journalist was sentenced on Friday to 10 years in prison with hard labor for violating Myanmar’s counterterrorism law, in addition to a three-year sentence she received in December 2022 for defamation, an attorney working on her case said.

Camera operator Hmu Yadanar Khet Moh Moh Tun of Myanmar Pressphoto Agency, was sentenced in Insein Prison on the outskirts of Yangon by the ruling junta’s Thingangyun District Court, said the lawyer who requested anonymity for safety reasons.

She was sentenced to three years in jail under Section 505(a) of the country’s Penal Code after being held in jail for a year. The junta has charged journalists under the broad and vague anti-state provision that penalizes “incitement” and “false news,” and carries penalties of two or three years in prison. 

Hmu Yadanar Khet Moh Moh Tun’s attorney said his client would not appeal the verdict.

“She said she did not want to appeal,” he told Radio Free Asia. “She has no more indictments to face.”

The military regime has clamped down hard on press freedom in Myanmar since seizing power from the democratically elected government in a February 2021 coup. Junta soldiers continue to target, harass, jail and kill journalists. Human rights groups have called on the junta to unconditionally free all journalists targeted in the post-coup crackdown. 

Hmu Yadanar Khet Moh Moh Tun's injuries resulted from military troops who rammed a vehicle into a crowd of civilians peacefully protesting against the regime in Yangon’s Kyimyindaing township on Dec. 5, 2021. They arrested the camera operator along with her colleague, photographer Kaung Sett Lin, both of whom were covering the protest, as well as nine young activists. 

The military vehicle hit the two journalists at high speed from behind, causing serious injuries to their heads, legs and other areas of their bodies, the online journal The Irrawaddy reported. 

Tun, whose legs were broken, still has difficulty walking and cannot move like a normal person, her attorney said.

Since the coup, the military junta has arrested 156 journalists. More than 100 of them have been released, while more than 50 remain in prison, and one — photojournalist Soe Naing — was killed during interrogation. 

Translated by Myo Min Aung for RFA Burmese. Edited by Roseanne Gerin and Matt Reed.

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