BBC Reporter Arraigned in Mandalay on Assault Allegation

By Yen Saning 15 May 2015

RANGOON — A Mandalay-based journalist from the BBC Burmese news service has been arraigned at Chanmyathazi Township court today on allegations of assaulting a policeman.

The court accepted the case against 39-year-old reporter Nay Myo Lin, which was submitted by police after a complaint was filed by police Lance Corporal Ba Maw. He has been charged with Article 332 of Penal Code, for “voluntarily causing hurt to deter [a] public servant from his duty”, which carries a punishment of three years’ imprisonment or a fine.

“As this article allows bail, I had to look for 10 lakh (US$916) and two guarantors,” he said. “We have given our lawyer power to act on my behalf. The next trial will be scheduled for May 25.”

Nay Myo Lin is the husband of Zarni Mann, a Mandalay-based reporter for The Irrawaddy. He will be represented by lawyer Thein Than Oo.

Police Inspector Win Bo told The Irrawaddy in March that one of his officers had filed a complaint at Chanmyathazi Police Station against Nay Myo Lin over a supposed Mar. 27 altercation between the complainant and the reporter. The alleged incident occurred while several dozen Mandalay-based students and activists were demonstrating for the release of students arrested during the Letpadan crackdown on Mar. 10.

He told The Irrawaddy that he was innocent of the allegation.

“Students were protesting on motorbikes,” he said. “I arrived there during an altercation with the crowd. He just suddenly appeared in front of my motorbike. He startled me while I was taking photos, and I raised my hands, worrying that my bike might fall over. I don’t know where he got a bruise, but he has accused me of hitting him.”