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Hpakant Journalist Arrested Last Year Awaits Trial

A freelance reporter for Kachin News Group and Kachin Wave, detained by the regime for over a year after being charged with sedition, is still waiting for his case to be heard in court.

Nawng Yoe’s friend told KNG that the court hearing was delayed because the judge was busy and the plaintiff, a police officer, didn’t show up for some of the dates. “I think they’ve already tried to schedule five hearings. Now the court has suspended its investigation.”

Despite his long time behind bars, Nawng Yoe’s health is fine, according to his friend.

The armed forces arrested Nawng Yoe on his motorbike near Pan Tin Bridge between Lon Khing and Hpakant on 9 April 2021 and charged him with Article 505 (a) of Burma’s Penal Code.

Five other journalists arrested after the military coup in Kachin State have already been released.

“They arrest reporters because they want to stop the news from getting out. There aren’t many journalists in the Hpakant area,” said a local man at the time that Nawng Yoe was charged. “Authorities shouldn’t be targeting them; they should be free to gather information to report the news.”

According to the annual count by the Committee to Protect Journalists, at least 26 journalists in Burma were still behind bars as of 1 December, making it the second worst country to imprison journalists after China.

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