Singaporean and Malaysian reporters jailed for flying drone over Myanmar parliament

Singaporean and Malaysian reporters jailed for flying drone over Myanmar parliament
Cameraman Lau Hon Meng from Singapore (L) and reporter Mok Choy Lin from Malaysia arrive for their first appearance in the court after they were detained for attempting to fly a drone near parliament in the capital, Naypyitaw, Myanmar November 10, 2017.
PHOTO: Reuters

YANGON: Malaysian Mok Choy Lin, Singaporean Lau Hon Meng and two Myanmar reporting crew members were sentenced to two months in prison for flying a drone over parliament, their lawyer said.

The duo were arrested last month along with Myanmar journalist Aung Naing Soe and driver Hla Tin when shooting a documentary in Naypyidaw.

The team was working for Turkish state broadcaster TRT, which said the crew wanted to film the parliament building after an interview with an MP.

"They were surprised when they heard their sentence," lawyer Khin Maung Zaw said after their one-day trial in the capital.

The group faces up to three more years in jail for the import of "restricted or banned" goods without a proper licence, their lawyer added, with a trial expected to take place on Nov 16.

TRT claims the reporters had informed Myanmar's Ministry of Information about their filming plans.

In a statement after the arrests, the Turkish broadcaster said police raided Aung Naing Soe's home and confiscated his computer and hard drive.

The incident comes amid tensions between Turkey and Myanmar over its treatment of Rohingya Muslims.

The Committee to Protect Journalists slammed the reporters' arrests as part of an "escalating clampdown on press freedom" in the fledgling democracy.

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