THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
Login | Create Account Poll Currency Weather Facebook Youtube Search

Whistle-blowing Myanmar policeman sentenced to jail

MYANMAR: A Myanmar police officer who told a court his colleagues had tried to “entrap” two Reuters journalists has been handed a prison term, a police spokesman said today (Apr 30).

crimecorruptionmilitarypolicereligionMyanmar
By AFP

Monday 30 April 2018, 04:20PM


Moe Yan Naing broke ranks with his colleagues to describe a plot to entrap and arrest two Reuters journalists. Photo: AFP / file

Moe Yan Naing broke ranks with his colleagues to describe a plot to entrap and arrest two Reuters journalists. Photo: AFP / file

Deputy police major Moe Yan Naing, called as a prosecution witness earlier this month in a pre-trial hearing against the journalists, stunned the courtroom when he alleged a senior officer had ordered colleagues to “get” reporter Wa Lone by handing him sensitive files.

The 32-year-old Myanmar journalist and his colleague Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, face up to 14 years in prison on charges of possessing classified documents relating to security operations in Rakhine state, where the military is accused of atrocities against Rohingya Muslims.

They have been detained since they were arrested in December after meeting with police, in a case that has drawn intense global attention.

According to a police spokesman, Moe Yan Naing has been jailed for breaching a police disciplinary act, a charge he had been facing since December for his previous communication with Wa Lone.

Police sources said he was sentenced before he gave his shock testimony – an extremely rare instance of a security official openly challenging superiors in the formerly junta-run country.

“He was sentenced because he told others about information concerned with the police force without permission,” Pol Col Myo Thu Soe said, declining to say when the verdict was reached or how long his jail term was.

“He was found to have breached the police disciplinary act,” he added.

Moe Yan Naing’s wife said she was informed of her husband’s sentencing yesterday night (Apr 29).

“The police told me yesterday (Sunday) evening that he had been sent to Insein prison to face a year-long sentence,” Tu Tu said through tears.

After he testified on April 20 the defence quickly expressed fears for his safety, while the prosecution filed a motion to declare him a “hostile witness”.

Within 24 hours Tu Tu and her children were evicted from their police housing in the capital Naypyidaw.

A police spokesman denied any connection between the two events, saying it was a “coincidence”.

The case against the Reuters reporters compounded fears about slipping press freedoms in Myanmar, a fledgling democracy riven with ethnic conflicts.

At the time of their arrests the reporters were investigating security officers’ roles in the extrajudicial killing of 10 Rohingya men in northern Rakhine, the site of an army crackdown that the UN says amounts to ethnic cleansing of the Muslim minority.

The military has overwhelmingly denied allegations of atrocities but did concede that security officers took part in the killings reported by Reuters – a rare admission of guilt made after the journalists were arrested.

Some 700,000 Rohingya have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh since the army-led campaign was launched last August, ostensibly to combat Rohingya insurgents.

The stateless group has faced decades of systematic discrimination and persecution in mainly Buddhist Myanmar.

 

 

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:

Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Tour boats blamed for widespread reef damage

Timo hit the nail on the head, and all the warnings of environmental degradation continuously fall o...(Read More)


Chinese Consul General meets Phuket Governor to discuss tourist safety

"“I am very happy to hear that the Thai government has made the safety of Chinese tourists a ...(Read More)


Governor pushes water-shortage solutions

"“We will not charge residents any costs for emergency water provdied,” the governor assure...(Read More)


Welcoming HMAS Canberra: Australian Navy head to Phuket for training and community activities

"Pascale one wonders why the cereal(sic) is allowed. Emails to the Editor get no reply. I think...(Read More)


Welcoming HMAS Canberra: Australian Navy head to Phuket for training and community activities

"talking is so much easier.Always the same," hope to see you there, getting your hands dir...(Read More)


Army starts rolling in emergency water supply to Phuket

"Col Santi explained, “Lt Gen Pornsak learned that local residents in Phuket were now in trou...(Read More)


Hunted seastead couple ‘traced to Tarutao’

Fake news by thai authorities. The US-Thai couple didn't build, tugged, and anchored the floati...(Read More)


Army starts rolling in emergency water supply to Phuket

I thought the Gov said there was NO drought so why is the Army turning up with water tankers. Don...(Read More)


Army starts rolling in emergency water supply to Phuket

Finally army has taken over from a governor who still denies there is a water crisis on Phuket. Besi...(Read More)


Mains water supply outage announced

Interesting mental output at 5.16. Fascinating with all those dots and half finished sentences,but w...(Read More)