Three Burmese journalists accused of misinformation appeared today in a court in Rangoon, where they were arrested a week ago after publishing a critical article with the city government.
Reporters Kyaw Zaw Lin, Nari Min and Phyo Wai Win of the Eleven Media group, who face a penalty of up to two years in prison if found guilty, came with white shirts and handcuffs to the court of the former capital accompanied by his lawyer, Kyee Myint.
The defendants must appear before the court again on October 26.
The complaint against the three Burmese journalists, submitted by the local government of Rangoon, is based on an article accusing the regional authorities of wasting public money for the lack of control.
The text was published on Monday of last week under a pseudonym, although the alleged author would be Phyo Wai Win with the supervision of the other accused.
The authorities maintain that the text violates Section 505 (b) of the Criminal Code, which prohibits the publication or circulation of any communiqué, rumor or report with the intention of causing "fear or public alarm".
According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners in Burma, the aforementioned law is used against activists and opponents as a result of the open interpretation of the rule that uses terms such as "offense against the State" or "public tranquility".
The three journalists are being held at Insein Prison in Rangoon, where Reuters reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo are also being held, arrested in December 2017 while investigating a massacre of Rohingya Muslims in the Rakáin state (west).
About 725,000 rohinyas have fled to Bangladesh since August last year due to Army operations, described as "ethnic cleansing" with indications of genocide by the UN, which began in response to an attack by militants of this persecuted Muslim majority minority. in Rakáin.
Burma (Myanmar) is ranked 137 out of 180 countries in the press freedom index of the NGO Reporters without Borders.