Arab Today, arab today information hero freed after serving 3 months of jail term
Last Updated : GMT 19:03:38
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

'Information hero' freed after serving 3 months of jail term

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today 'Information hero' freed after serving 3 months of jail term

Zaw Phay, a Democratic Voice of Burma
Magway - Arab Today

Court urged to dismiss charges against detained Unity Weekly journalists

Zaw Phay, a Democratic Voice of Burma(DVB) reporter who was sentenced to a year in prison in the northern city of Magway on 7 April on charges of trespassing on government property and disturbing a civil servant, was released on 4 July after a Magway township court reduced his sentence to three months on appeal.

He was one of the 100 “information heroes” that Reporters Without Borders profiled for the latest World Press Freedom Day on 3 May.

The same Magway township court is meanwhile trying the CEO of the Unity Weekly newspaper and four of his journalists in connection with a report about an alleged secret chemical weapons factory in the nearby town of Pauk, where they have been held since February. They are facing possible 14-year jail sentences on charges of violating the state secrets law and entering a restricted area.

“We are relieved to learn of the decision to release Zaw Phay, even if it came 83 days too late, because he was unjustly imprisoned,” said Benjamin Ismaïl, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Asia-Pacific desk. “We urge the Magway court not to make the same mistake with the Unity Weekly journalists and to dismiss the charges against them.”

The Zaw Phay case dates back to August 2012, when the DVB reporter went with Win Myint Hlaing, the father of a student, to the local education department in Magway to interview an official about an alleged irregularity in the allocation of a Japanese-funded scholarship.

The official subsequently filed a complaint against both Zaw Phay and Win Myint Hlaing, which led to their arrests and to the confiscation of Zaw Phay’s equipment. Both were sentenced to a year in prison when the trial was finally held two years later.

At the appeal hearing on 4 July, the court ruled that all they did was act as journalists and “simply enquire about a scholarship programme, but did not commit the offences the township court found them guilty of.” As they had already served three months of their one-year terms, they were freed after the court reduced their sentences to thee months.

Reached by phone after his release, Zaw Phay said: “I have nothing to be grateful about as I shouldn’t have been jailed in the first place.”

Unity Weekly journalists facing long jail terms

The fact that prosecution under the state secrets law is still one of the threats hanging over Burmese journalists shows that the work of overhauling the legislation governing freedom of information is far from over.

The trial of the four Unity Weekly journalists – Lu Maw Naing, Yarzar Oo, Paing Thet Kyaw(aka Aung Thura) and Sithu Soe – and the newspaper’s CEO, Tint San, is currently reaching its conclusion.

The offending article, headlined “A secret chemical weapon factory of the former generals, Chinese technicians and the commander-in-chief at Pauk Township,” said the plant had been built with the highest level of government’s approval and had been visited frequently by succeeding army commanders and vice-presidents from 2009 to 2013.

“As long as all repressive legislation is not repealed and new protective measures are not adopted, news providers will continue to be vulnerable to the attacks of certain government officials, who show they want to keep the media under strict control although military rule is officially over,” Ismaïl added.

The Unity Weekly journalists, who were arrested in the week following the article’s publication, are being held in the Pauk township prison. A request for their release on bail was rejected on the grounds of the gravity of the charges against them. Their lawyers argue that they should be tried under the media law rather than the state secrets law.

Unity Weekly closed its Rangoon bureau on 30 June because of financial difficulties resulting from their imprisonment.

Despite rising in the Reporters Without Borders press freedom index in recent years, Burma is still only ranked 145th out of 180 countries.

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today information hero freed after serving 3 months of jail term Arab Today, arab today information hero freed after serving 3 months of jail term

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Fadi Kataya explains secrets of  Nancy Ajram's newlook
Arab Today, arab today Messi visit will contribute in tourism

GMT 14:04 2017 Friday ,24 February

Messi visit will contribute in tourism
Arab Today, arab today Expresses Algerian history by woody figures

GMT 13:26 2017 Friday ,24 February

Expresses Algerian history by woody figures
Arab Today, arab today Mental conflict endures

GMT 07:36 2017 Friday ,24 February

Mental conflict endures

GMT 15:27 2017 Monday ,20 February

Trump calls media ‘enemy of American people’

GMT 06:48 2017 Saturday ,18 February

Dominican journalists shot dead during live broadcast

GMT 05:13 2017 Tuesday ,14 February

Sharjah TV begins 3rd season of Sharjah Junior Munshid

GMT 03:43 2017 Saturday ,11 February

National Media Council's New Logo Launched

GMT 15:06 2017 Friday ,10 February

383 violations against media freedoms during 2016

GMT 15:33 2017 Thursday ,09 February

Egypt backs Trump’s media criticism
View News in Arabic - Media: آخر الأخبار
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Reading therapy relieves mental disorders

GMT 15:39 2017 Friday ,24 February

Reading therapy relieves mental disorders
Arab Today, arab today UK appoints 1st Scotland Yard chief in 188 years

GMT 05:14 2017 Thursday ,23 February

UK appoints 1st Scotland Yard chief in 188 years
Arab Today, arab today Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage

GMT 12:16 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage
Arab Today, arab today Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons
Arab Today, arab today Tesla back into red but revenue grows

GMT 07:27 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Tesla back into red but revenue grows
Arab Today, arab today Nissan enhances sales in most markets

GMT 14:08 2017 Monday ,20 February

Nissan enhances sales in most markets
Arab Today, arab today Wafaa Amer is happy for Sherihan’s return

GMT 07:36 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Wafaa Amer is happy for Sherihan’s return
Arab Today, arab today Milan laughs while Rome cries

GMT 10:28 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Milan laughs while Rome cries

GMT 05:19 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Salma Rashid happy for 'A Whisper of Love'

GMT 12:35 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

63-Year-Old Woman Delivers Baby

GMT 22:42 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Nasima Gamei revives heritage in jewelries

GMT 15:53 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Small ponds have outsized impact

GMT 20:33 2017 Friday ,17 February

To release new antiques collection

GMT 07:51 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Mom's immune system accepts babies

GMT 09:59 2017 Monday ,20 February

Tourism shows signs of recovery

GMT 13:12 2015 Saturday ,09 May

Sheikh Sultan opens Sharjah Centre

GMT 20:02 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Nohan Seyam designs beautiful accessories
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday