Former Columnist Jailed For Social Media Criticism of Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi

A court in Yangon has sentenced a former newspaper columnist for state media to seven years in prison and ordered him to pay a fine for violating a sedition law by criticizing Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi on social media, in the latest challenge to freedom of expression in the Southeast Asian country.

Ngar Min Swe, a well-known critic of the country’s de facto leader, was arrested on July 12 at his home in Hlaing township and charged under Section 124A of the Penal Code for Facebook posts that took aim at Aung San Suu Kyi, whose civilian-led National League for Democracy (NLD) party has been in power since 2016.

Charges were filed against Ngar Min Swe by police Lieutenant Colonel Thar Tun in Yangon’s Western District court.

“He was sentenced [on Tuesday] to seven years in jail and must pay a 100,000-kyat [U.S. $64] fine,” said Ngar Min Swe’s wife, May Than Win. She added that her husband wrote was he did as suggestions for Aung San Suu Kyi, not to criticize her.

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