Myanmar police have arrested three journalists after their paper criticised the financial management of Yangon’s government, which is overseen by a protege of leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Eleven Media’s executive editors Kyaw Zaw Lin and Nayi Min, as well as chief reporter Phyo Wai Win, were brought before a Yangon court in handcuffs on Wednesday morning to hear the charges against them before being taken to jail.
Defence lawyer Kyee Myint told AFP news agency the case was filed over an article published on Monday about the funding behind the city’s bus network, a scheme run by Yangon chief minister and Aung San Suu Kyi confidant Phyo Min Thein.
“All three of them were sent to Insein prison this morning after a case was filed against them under section 505(b),” Myint said.
The trio could be fined and jailed for up to two years if a court rules that their story was published with intent to cause – or was likely to cause – “fear or alarm to the public”.
It is not the first time Eleven Media Group has been targeted by the authorities.
The next hearing will be on October 17 [Ann Wang/Reuters]
In November 2016, the paper’s then editors were jailed over a column that accused a government official of receiving a watch worth $100,000 from a businessman who later won plum contracts.
Yangon authorities told AFP they were unable to comment on the latest charges at this stage.