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Three Myanmar journalists accused of incitement were granted bail on Friday but must continue to fight the case involving a close confidant of civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, reports BSS/AFP.
The three were arrested about six weeks after two Reuters reporters were each sentenced to seven years in prison in September, a high-profile case that provoked outrage around the world.
In this case the article, published earlier this month by Eleven Media, criticised the financial management of Yangon’s government run by Phyo Min Thein, the chief minister for the city and a staunch Suu Kyi ally. Executive editors Kyaw Zaw Lin and Nayi Min and chief reporter Phyo Wai Win — who have spent the last two weeks in Myanmar’s notorious Insein prison — stand by the report, which raised questions about funding for the city’s bus network.
“My report was fair and right. I just pointed out that the (Yangon government’s budgeting) process was wrong, but they thought that I abused them,” Phyo Wai Win told AFP at the court. They were charged under article 505 (b), which criminalises published or circulated information that causes ‘fear or alarm to the public’.
It is one of many broadly worded provisions in the penal code that have been used against journalists in the country.