The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) on Friday accused the Myanmar military of jailing two journalists on trumped-up charges and demanded their release.
Aung Kyaw, a reporter from the Democratic Voice of Burma, and Ko Zaw Zaw, a freelance reporter with Mizzima News, were sentenced to two years in prison under a newly revised colonial-era law that criminalizes the spread of “misinformation” that could “abet mutiny.”
“Sentencing journalists to jail because of a claim they are spreading false news is a gratuitous condemnation of free speech and free media,” the federation said.
The IFJ urged Myanmar’s military, which overthrew the elected government in February, to release all detained journalists and reform the penal code that had stripped journalists of their rights. It estimated that at least 87 journalists had been arrested, 45 detained and 46 prosecuted since February 1.