Photojournalist Jailed over Facebook Post Denouncing Myanmar Junta

By The Irrawaddy 25 August 2022

Myanmar’s junta sentenced the detained former photojournalist Ko Zaw Zaw to three years imprisonment under incitement charges on Wednesday.

Ko Zaw Zaw, who formerly worked for The Irrawaddy, was arrested in Mandalay in April while with his family. He was sent to Mandalay’s Obo Prison in May after being held at an interrogation center for more than a month.

He quit his job with The Irrawaddy more than a year before his arrest and had not worked for any organization since then.

His lawyer U Myo Min Zaw told The Irrawaddy that the police submitted the case to the court on Monday, charging Zaw Zaw with incitement under Article 505(a) of the Penal Code. He was accused of inciting the destabilization of the country using Facebook and by taking photos of anti-regime protests and the junta’s violent crackdowns.

Myanmar has become the world’s second-biggest jailer of journalists after China since last year’s coup. The regime has targeted journalists with arrests, lawsuits, raids on newsrooms and violence to suppress coverage of junta atrocities.

The junta has arrested over 140 media workers and killed at least four. Many of them were charged with incitement and contacting illegal organizations.

The regime’s media crackdown has made it impossible for many journalists to work, forcing them to flee the country or go into hiding. This year the junta has been seizing several journalists’ homes.