The BBC’s Burmese-language news service has severed ties with Burma’s MNTV, with the former citing “interference” from the state broadcaster, saying it had constituted “a serious breach of trust with our audiences.”
The formal withdrawal of charges in the high-profile “unlawful association” case involving three journalists and three others in Shan State’s Hsipaw Township was postponed on Monday, with the legal bureaucracy delaying their official exoneration for another several days.
In a surprise Friday announcement, the Tatmadaw said that it will be dropping charges it had brought against six journalists, including a high-profile “unlawful association” case it had brought against two reporters from DVB and one from The Irrawaddy news outlet.
The Myanmar Press Council has sent a letter to Rangoon Chief Minister Phyo Min Thein in response to a complaint he filed over a Reuters article published earlier this month that scrutinised his handling of a major bus purchase by the regional government he leads.
Bail was denied for a second time on Friday at the fourth hearing in the case of three journalists and three other defendants facing charges at a court in Shan State under Burma’s Unlawful Associations Act.
Rangoon Division Chief Minister Phyo Min Thein has lodged a complaint with the Myanmar Press Council against Reuters news agency’s bureau in the commercial capital over an article it published earlier this month on two deals his government inked for the import of hundreds of buses from China.
The third hearing in the case of a trio of detained journalists and three civilians on charges of “unlawful association” was held on Friday, with two of the prosecution’s witnesses failing to appear before the court despite being scheduled to do so.
Three journalists and three other defendants facing charges under Burma’s Unlawful Associations Act were denied bail Friday at their second hearing in Hsipaw Township, Shan State, where the high-profile case continued and the defendants’ detention stretched into its sixth week.
Following more than two months’ detention, The Voice Daily’s chief editor Kyaw Min Swe was released on a 10 million kyats ($7,350) bail by a Rangoon court on Friday morning, according to the defendant’s lawyer.
The prominent Burmese journalist Swe Win was arrested at Yangon International Airport on Sunday evening as he attempted to leave Burma, with authorities justifying his detention on the grounds that he faces trial on charges of defamation.
The trial of three journalists and three other men accused of “unlawful association” with an ethnic armed group began in earnest on Friday, with a court in Hsipaw Township, Shan State, taking testimony from the case’s plaintiff, an army major.
A court in Rangoon this week added to the legal woes of the chief editor and a regular satire columnist for The Voice Daily newspaper, accepting a lawsuit brought against the pair under Burma’s News Media Law.
In this DVB Debate, our panelists trade views on the merits of the Telecommunication Law’s 66(d) defamation provision, and offer their advice to lawmakers weighing changes to the controversial legislation.
Legal experts suggest that the case brought against three detained journalists who are being charged under Burma’s Unlawful Associations Act lacks a sound basis upon which to pursue prosecution, given the specifics of the colonial-era legislation’s provisions.