Bangkok, May 30, 2023—Myanmar authorities should immediately and unconditionally release journalist Hmu Yadanar Khet Moh Moh Tun and stop imprisoning members of the press for their work, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Tuesday.
On May 26, Yangon’s Thingangyun District Court convicted Moh Moh Tun, a reporter for the independent Myanmar Pressphoto Agency, and sentenced her to 10 years in prison with hard labor under Section 50(j) of the Counter-Terrorism Law, a provision relating to terror financing, according to news reports and the agency’s editor J Paing, who communicated with CPJ by email.
CPJ could not immediately confirm whether Moh Moh Tun plans to appeal her most recent conviction.
“Myanmar journalist Hmu Yadanar Khet Moh Moh Tun’s harsh sentencing is an outrage, and the charges against her must be dropped immediately,” said Shawn Crispin, CPJ’s senior Southeast Asia representative. “Myanmar’s junta must stop using terrorism and anti-state charges to suppress the free press and should release all of the reporters it holds behind bars.”
Moh Moh Tun has been held at Yangon’s Insein Prison since her initial arrest on December 5, 2021, while covering an anti-coup protest in Yangon’s Kyimyindaing Township, where several protesters were shot and killed by soldiers.
She and fellow Myanmar Pressphoto Agency photographer Kaung Sett Lin were both seriously injured when authorities rammed a military vehicle into the anti-coup protest. Moh Moh Tun sustained head and leg injuries that required surgery, according to J Paing.
Moh Moh Tun was no longer in a wheelchair and was able to walk with crutches as of late 2022, but in February 2023 Insein Prison’s hospital determined that she required a second surgery on her leg, J Paing said. CPJ could not immediately confirm if she underwent that surgery.