On September 6, 2023 a military court inside the Insein prison in Yangon, Myanmar, gave a 20-year prison with hard labour sentence to Sai Zaw Thaike, a photojournalist for Myanmar Now, an independent media source.
Junta soldiers arrested Sai Zaw Thaike of independent news outlet Myanmar Now in the Rakhine State capital of Sittwe on May 23, just over a week after Cyclone Mocha made landfall. He was in the city to report on the aftermath of the storm, which killed over 140 people, many of whom were members of the persecuted Rohingya minority living in camps for internally displaced persons.
Following the arrest, authorities subjected Sai Zaw Thaike to interrogation for about a week in Sittwe and Yangon. He was transferred to Yangon’s notorious Insein Prison in mid-June on a remand issued by the township court in South Dagon, which has been under martial law since 2021.
His initial indictment included charges for misinformation, incitement, and sedition under various statutes–article 27 of the Natural Disaster Management Law, section 66(d) of the Telecommunications Law, and sections 505a and 124a of the colonial-era Penal Code–which carry sentences varying from one to 20 years.
However, the number of charges on which the junta court ultimately convicted him is unconfirmed.