YANGON, Burma (AP) — A Burma (Myanmar) court has found two newspaper editors guilty of violating the country’s media law by insulting the president, and fined each of them 1 million kyat ($809).
Nine other staff members of the weekly Burma Herald were acquitted Tuesday in a case filed by the Information Ministry last November after publication of an interview with a political analyst who described President Thein Sein as a fool.
The case was one of several seen by press freedom advocates as an effort to intimidate the media ahead of a general election scheduled for this November.
The paper’s chief editor, Kyaw Swa Win, and the deputy chief editor, Arnt Khaung Min, were fined by a court in the capital, Naypyitaw, for violating the media law by printing articles affecting an individual’s reputation.
“The judge said we are guilty of tarnishing the image of the president and we were charged under the media law for not being ethical,” Arnt Khaung Min told Associated Press by phone.
“We have to be cautious because the harassment on media freedom has increased, but we don’t feel threatened by such repression,” he said, describing the pre-election climate for the media as very bleak. “We will continue to do our job.”