Appeal Filed in Unity Journalists’ Case

By Zarni Mann 21 July 2014

MANDALAY — Lawyers representing the four jailed journalists and manager of Unity journal on Monday submitted an appeal against their conviction, one of the lawyers told The Irrawaddy.

The newspaper’s CEO, Tint San, and reporters Lu Maw Naing, Sithu Soe, Thae Yarzar Oo and Aung Thura were sentenced to 10 years in jail with hard labor on July 10 by the Pakokku Township Court in Magwe Division. They were found guilty of publishing state secrets and trespassing after the President’s Office filed a lawsuit against them following the January publication of a story alleging that chemical weapons were being produced at a military facility in Magwe.

Robert San Aung, representing the four journalists, said the application to appeal was accepted, and the case would now be heard at the Magwe Divisional Court.

“We have to wait about 45 days for the court to hear the appeal,” he said. “Since the district court in Pakokku did not judge the case fairly, we decided to submit an appeal to the higher court. We believe the divisional court will judge fairly for these journalists.”

The five people are currently being held at a prison in Pakokku.