Friday, June 24, 2016

Update: 23 June 2016

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Pazundaung Township Magistrate Myint Kyaw gave bail to columnist Sithu Aung Myint, Mizzima Editor-in-Chief and Managing Director Soe Myint and Mizzima Editor-in-Charge of Myanmar edition Myo Thant on personal bond in a case filed by Eleven Media Group Chief Reporter Mann Thu Shein.

Chief Reporter Mann Thu Shein registered a case against columnist Sithu Aung Myint at Pazundaung Police Station for his article ‘MPC or an organisation whose image distorted by some media’ which appeared in Mizzima online and in the digital newspaper edition on December 31, 2015. The columnist and editors were charged under Section 34(d) of the Electronic Communications Law and the court heard the case on June 23 where bail was given.

Eleven Media Group Chief Reporter Mann Thu Shein said: “We have filed a case against columnist Sithu Aung Myint in the past too. He wrote such articles many times and we could not lodge a complaint to any organisation so as a last resort we had to a file case against them with the police. We have no intention to cause them any grievance. We filed this case in defence of our media outlet and to remedy our grievances because he wrote articles based on wrong facts causing misunderstanding and [the reader to be] misled.”

Mizzima Media issued a press release on June 22 in which it said the article “MPC or an organization whose image distorted by some media” written by columnist Sithu Aung Myint did not mention and refer to any media or any individual and did not mention the name of the complainant Mann Thu Shein so the allegations and case are baseless and should be withdrawn.

Mizzima Media Myanmar edition Editor-in-Charge Myo Thant said: “Charging us in the case under sections of the Electronic Communications Law which is not concerned with the Media is totally wrong in a legal sense and it is contrary to the provisions of the Media Law.”

Moreover, instead of settling this case through the Press Council by registering the case at a police station it deprives Mizzima Media of its protection under the Media Law, he added.

“Charging us through a police station which has resulted in a trial has caused a grievance for Mizzima Media and all the accused in this case,” he went on.

The next hearing of the case is fixed for July 7.

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