A Chief editor, Zaw Ye Htet has been sentenced to two years in prison after his online news agency, Dae Pyaw reported a COVID-19 death in Karen state, eastern Myanmar, which turned out to be false.
Zaw Ye Htet had been arrested since April 13, the same day his news agency published the erroneous article.
The editor’s lawyer, Myint Thuzar Maw on Friday said “he was sentenced under section 505(b) to two years in jail.”
The notorious Section 505(b) is a vaguely-worded law, often thrown at journalists and activists for making any statement that causes fear or alarm.
The government had warned that people would be prosecuted for spreading misinformation about the pandemic.
“We’ll appeal this unfair decision,” Zaw Ye Htet’s wife Phyu Phyu Win told AFP.
Myanmar has 199 total confirmed COVID-19 cases; 108 recoveries and 6 deaths. But Karen State has only recorded two COVID-19 cases with no death.