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    Myanmar photojournalist sentenced to 20 years of hard labour

    A Myanmar photojournalist has been sentenced to 20 years of physical labour for his coverage of the aftermath of a deadly cyclone.


    Sai Zaw Thaike, a 40-year-old photographer with the independent online news service, Myanmar Now faces the harshest treatment of any journalist detained since the military ousted Aung San Suu Kyi's elected government in February 2021.

    Myanmar Now said a military tribunal convicted and sentenced Thaike on Wednesday.

    The publication reported he was initially indicted on several charges, including treason or what is called sedition. His other charges include spreading false news, incitement, and agitating against a government employee or the military.

    False news

    Thaike was also charged with online defamation and violating a natural disaster management law for allegedly spreading false news about a disaster with the intention of causing public panic.

    “All of Sai Zaw Thaike’s colleagues at Myanmar Now and I are deeply saddened to hear of the lengthy sentence handed down to him,” said Myanmar Now’s editor-in-chief Swe Win.

    “His sentencing is yet another indication that freedom of the press has been completely quashed under the military junta’s rule, and shows the hefty price independent journalists in Myanmar must pay for their professional work,” he said in a statement.

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