Myanmar’s military junta court on May 26 sentenced a visual journalist to 10 years in prison with hard labor for violating counterterrorism law.
Hmu Yadanar Khet Moh Moh Tun of Myanmar Press Photo Agency will not appeal the verdict, according to his legal counsel.
“She said she did not want to appeal. She has no more indictments to face,” said the lawyer who requested anonymity for safety reasons.
Tun, along with her colleague, photographer Kaung Sett Lin, was arrested in 2021 while covering a peaceful protest rally against the military junta in Yangon’s Kyimyindaing township.
The 10-year jail time will be added to the three-year sentence she first received for violating the country’s Penal Code. 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.
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.
Since the takeover, at least 176 journalists have been arrested. Many have been released but more than 50 are still in jail while one photojournalist – Soe Naing – was killed during interrogation.
According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, as of May 3, 2023, the Myanmar military has killed at least 3,459 people and arrested another 20,883, including 282 children. Some 13,719 people are still in detention, 143 people have been sentenced to death and four have been executed. – with reports from Radio Free Asia