YANGON - A court in junta-ruled Myanmar has sentenced a reporter of independent broadcaster Democratic Voice of Burma to three years in prison, according to his employer.
Min Nyo, 51, was arrested on March 3 while covering an anti-coup demonstration in the central Bago region and was charged with inciting social unrest. The ruling came out Wednesday.
DVB was deprived of its broadcasting license on March 8 and banned from reporting on any platform, but it has continued to report about the military's suppression of democracy from neighboring countries such as Thailand.
Amnesty International's Emerlynne Gil said in a statement that the conviction and sentence handed down to Min Nyo "shows the appalling situation faced by journalists in Myanmar, where they risk life and liberty to shed light on the military's abuses."
"Min Nyo's conviction must be quashed, and he should be released immediately -- along with all other journalists, activists and human rights defenders imprisoned and detained solely for their peaceful opposition to the military coup."
While journalists have been arrested one after another since the Feb. 1 coup, this seems to be the first time that a judgement has been handed down.
The military has stepped up its crackdown on the press, and according to the internet media "Reporting ASEAN," 80 journalists have been detained.
Among them is Japanese freelance journalist Yuki Kitazumi, 45, who has been charged with spreading "fake news."
On 9 May, Thai authorities arrested three of Min Nyo's DVB colleagues, along with two activists, in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand, for illegal entry.
Both Amnesty International and press advocacy group Reporters Without Borders have urged Thailand not to deport them back to Myanmar.