Myanmar’s BBC reporter Nay Myo Lin has been sentenced to three months of hard labor on Tuesday. The incident took place in 2015 when student activists protested against an education bill which posed an issue towards academic freedom. Nay Lin was said to have accidentally hit the police while helping a citizen.
Nay Lin’s lawyer, Thein Than Oo, voiced out saying “It is shameful that the court has issued this sentence. The police should not treat journalists as their enemy.”
After the ruling, Nay Lin informed local media that “It’s not fair … after ignoring the policeman’s unjust act of pulling down the motorcycle of a protesting student. I didn’t mean to hurt that policeman. I just tried to give protection to a citizen who was being treated unjustly in my presence.”
This sentencing is the first under Myanmar’s government led by Aung San Suu Kyi. The Foreign Correspondent’s Club of Myanmar is against the decision stating “such a harsh sentence meted out against a journalist could tarnish the image of the new civilian government.”
It has been decades that Myanmar was ruled by military power and recently in November, the National League of Democracy had a landslide victory.
An appeal had been made by Nay Lin. BBC responded in a statement on Monday: “The BBC will continue to work with his lawyer to support his appeal.”
Last month, BBC journalist Rupert Wingfield-Hayes was expelled by North Korean authorities due to distorting some fact about the supreme leader Kim Jong Un.