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"Flower News" journalist charged by police for reporting on murder case, faces possible prison term

(Mizzima/IFEX) - Chief reporter Saw Myint Than, of the "Flower News" journal, has been charged by the Kyauktada Township police for reporting on a double murder case.

Rangoon Division Police Department Chief Win Maung lodged a first information report (FIR) against him in the Kyauktada police station under the Unlawful Associations Act and the Electronic Communication Law.

He faces up to one year in prison for each charge if found guilty, a Home Ministry source said.

The Kyauktada Township police station declined to provide further details. The township police stations in Rangoon Division were barred recently from giving out information on crimes committed.

The Rangoon Division Police office summoned Saw Myint Than and gave him a dressing down for reporting on a double murder in last week's issue of the "Flower News".

A Home Ministry source said the police accused him later of defaming the police department by distributing the information to a news agency in exile.

Previously, township police stations were able to give out information on crime to domestic reporters, but the Home Ministry has issued a circular stipulating that only the Rangoon Division Police headquarters is authorised to release crime news to the media.

The news of the double murder that appeared in the journal had been approved by the Press Scrutiny Board (Censor Board) of the Ministry of Information.

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