Myanmar arrests journalist for 'insult' on Facebook

Photojournalist arrested for posting satirical message poking fun at a historical war and the country's leader.

    If found guilty, Aung Nay Myo could face a maximum seven years in prison [Facebook]
    If found guilty, Aung Nay Myo could face a maximum seven years in prison [Facebook]

    Police in Myanmar have arrested a photojournalist who posted a satirical message on Facebook that mocked a historic battle and the country's leader.

    Police confirmed on Saturday that Aung Nay Myo was detained on a charge of violating the 1950 Emergency Provision Act.

    If found guilty, he could face a maximum seven years in prison.

    His post satirised the 1971 battle between government troops and communist fighters and wrote that it was directed by Thein Sein, Myanmar's former military commander who has been President of the country since March 2011.

    The government often uses the 1950 Emergency Provision Act to persecute dissidents and political activists.

    Ant Bwe Kyaw, a close friend of Aung Nay Moy, told local news site The Irrawaddy, that he believed the photographer had been targeted for his political activism.

    "For me, the case is intentionally orchestrated to trouble a person who is politically active," Ant Bwe Kyaw said.

    At least nine journalists and several publishers and media owners are serving prison sentences from two to seven years and nearly a dozen others are facing charges, undermining modest advances in media freedoms in Myanmar following a half-century military rule.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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