After Charges Withdrawn, Detained Journalists Released on Bail

By The Irrawaddy 1 September 2017

HSIPAW, Shan State — Three journalists from The Irrawaddy and Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) were released on bail on Friday afternoon following the military’s decision to withdraw its case against them.

The judge from Hsipaw Township Court said the plaintiff’s lawyer must file a request to the court in order to drop the charges, and the court would then drop the charges on Monday.

Military plaintiff adjutant Thet Naing Oo withdrew the charges under Article 17(1) of the Unlawful Associations Act filed against the reporters after the commander-in-chief’s office withdrew cases against six journalists and two activists.

The journalists were arrested along with three other men by the Myanmar Army on June 26 as they returned from covering a drug-burning ceremony hosted by the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA).

A few days later they were moved to Hsipaw Prison and have been escorted from the prison for weekly hearings, some of which have been moved or delayed.

As the defendants’ lawyers submitted bail appeals in last week’s trial, the judge granted bail for the three reporters in the wake of the military withdrawing the case.

Three men who were detained along with the journalists also had charges of unlawful association withdrawn, but two of the men who had additional charges will remain in detention.