Myanmar Junta Jails Pair of Journalists Who Were Rammed by Military Vehicles at Protest

By The Irrawaddy 22 December 2022

The Myanmar junta sentenced two injured and detained journalists to three years in prison with labor along with seven anti-coup protesters on Wednesday.

Myanmar Press Photo Agency journalists Ko Kaung Sett Lin and Ma Hmue Yadanar Khet Moh Moh Tun were arrested along with seven anti-coup protester on Dec. 5 after junta forces rammed a military vehicle into a peaceful flash-mob protest in Yangon’s Kyimyindaing Township.

In the junta’s crackdown, the two journalists suffered serious injuries to their heads, legs and elsewhere on their bodies after being hit from behind at high speed by the military vehicle.

On Wednesday, the two reporters and seven anti-regime protesters were jailed under Section 505 (a) of the Penal Code after being held in prison for one year, a representative of Myanmar Press Photo Agency told The Irrawaddy.

Female video journalist Ma Hmue Yandanar Khet Moh Moh Tun has also been charged under Section 50 (j) of the Counter-Terrorism Law by the junta. She faces 10 years to life in prison if found guilty, the press photo agency said, quoting a lawyers network.

The male journalist is still suffering back pain and the female journalist has to rely on crutches and a wheelchair, as she is still unable to walk due to her legs being broken, the photo agency said, citing their lawyers.

Three protesters lie on the ground (circled), with one of them stuck under a military vehicle that rammed a crowd of protesters in Yangon on Dec. 5, 2021. / CJ

On Saturday, the military junta also sentenced another freelance journalist, Ko Soe Yazar Tun, to four years in prison with hard labor under Section 52 (a) of the Counter-Terrorism Law for allegedly communicating with revolutionary forces.

Previously, he was jailed for seven months in 2021 under Section 505 (a) of the Penal Code. He was released in June last year and arrested again in March 2022.

In another case, two editors of Thingangyun Post Media, Ko Wai Lin Yu and Ma Htet Htet Aung, were sentenced to five years’ imprisonment under Section 5 of the Explosive Substance Act.

Since the military coup last year, four journalists have been killed and over 143 arrested, of whom 48 remain in junta custody.