Burma

Media Law Charges Dropped Against Voice Daily Editor and Columnist

By San Yamin Aung 14 September 2017

YANGON — Bahan Township court dropped the charge of Article 25(b) of the Media Law against The Voice Daily chief editor U Kyaw Min Swe and satirist Ko Kyaw Zwa Naing on Thursday, after the military withdrew the cases.

But the chief editor’s charge under Article 66(d) of the Telecommunications Law remains to be dropped despite having been withdrawn, his legal adviser U Khin Maung Myint told The Irrawaddy.

The military plaintiff Lt-Col Lin Tun withdrew the charges under Article 25(b) of the Media Law against the pair and Article 66(d) of Telecommunications Law against the chief editor, which had been opened, at Thursday’s court hearing.

The court dropped the Media Law charges but the 66(d) charge needs further legal remark from the Bahan Township police station, which has been waiting for the Ministry of Transport and Communications to remark on the case since Sept. 1.

The dismissal of the cases came after the commander-in-chief’s announcement that the military would withdraw cases against six journalists and two activists.

The Burmese language publication’s chief editor U Kyaw Min Swe and regular satire columnist Ko Kyaw Zwa Naing, also known by his pen name British Ko Ko Maung, were arrested on June 2. The pair was charged under Article 66(d) of the Telecommunications Law and then Article 25(b) of the Media Law for allegedly defaming the military in a satirical article. Ko Kyaw Zwa Naing was later released and acquitted of violating Article 66(d) on June 16.

The chief editor was released on bail on August 4.

The court will rule to drop the 66(d) charge at the next court hearing on Sept. 29.

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