Myanmar policeman who testified about entrapment is punished

FILE - In this March 7, 2018, file photo, Reuters journalist Kyaw Soe Oo is escorted by Myanmar police during a break at a court on the outskirts of Yangon, Myanmar. A police officer in Myanmar who testified that he was ordered to help entrap two Reuters journalists, Kyaw Soe Oo and Wa Lone, investigating abuses by security forces against Rohingya Muslims has been punished under police regulations, a police spokesman said Monday, April 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Thein Zaw, File)
FILE - In this March 7, 2018, file photo, Reuters journalist Wa Lone leaves the court after his trial on the outskirts of Yangon, Myanmar. A police officer in Myanmar who testified that he was ordered to help entrap two Reuters journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, investigating abuses by security forces against Rohingya Muslims has been punished under police regulations, a police spokesman said Monday, April 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Thein Zaw, File)

BANGKOK — A police officer in Myanmar who testified that he was ordered to help entrap two Reuters journalists investigating abuses by security forces against Rohingya Muslims has been punished under police regulations, a police spokesman said Monday.

Police Capt. Moe Yan Naing testified in court on April 20 that his superior arranged for two policemen to meet reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo and give them documents described as "important secret papers" in order to arrest them on charges of possessing state secrets.

The day after Moe Yan Naing's surprise testimony — he had been a prosecution witness — his wife and daughter were ordered to move out of their police housing unit in the capital, Naypyitaw.

Police spokesman Col. Myo Thu Soe said Moe Yan Naing was sentenced Saturday and transferred to the Correctional Department, but refused to give details. Moe Yan Naing has been detained since the reporters' arrest on Dec. 12, apparently for earlier giving one of them an interview.

Officers who violate Myanmar's Police Disciplinary Act can be sentenced to up to a year in prison.

The two reporters were charged with violating the Official Secrets Act, a law dating from British colonial times, and if convicted, could get up to 14 years in prison. They apparently were targeted by the authorities because their work concerned the brutal crackdown by security forces against minority Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar's Rakhine state. About 700,000 Rohingya have fled to neighboring Bangladesh since the crackdown began last August.

The two journalists had worked on an investigation of the killing of 10 Rohingya villagers in Inn Din village, for which seven soldiers were sentenced to up 10 years in prison with hard labor, according to the army chief's Facebook page.

Rights groups, journalist associations and several Western governments have called for the reporters' release, saying the case against them is a violation of freedom of the press.

People also read these

China says rebuilding major western Buddhist...

Mar 14, 2017

China says it is rebuilding a major center of Tibetan Buddhist learning in the country's west,...

China's trading partners alarmed by food import...

Mar 20, 2017

China's trading partners are trying to persuade Beijing to scale back plans to require intensive...

China plans panda preserve 3 times size of...

Mar 31, 2017

China plans a preserve for giant pandas that will be three times the size of Yellowstone National...

Unfettered online hate speech fuels Islamophobia...

Apr 10, 2017

Homeowners in a central Chinese city were so opposed to the planned construction of a mosque in...

Hospital suspends cancer drug use on China's...

Jul 7, 2017

The Chinese hospital treating imprisoned Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo says it has suspended use...

Sign up now!

Advertisement